WHO Sounds the Alarm: Food Industry in Eight Countries Seriously Going Out of Line to Sell Baby Milk | Family

Shortly after giving birth, women in eight countries around the world are under immense pressure from the food industry not to breastfeed their babies, but instead to use pre-made baby milk. The industry does not shy away from bribing healthcare workers and online stalking to deceive through information networks and sponsored helplines.

The World Health Council and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, say so based on a large-scale survey of young parents, pregnant women, and health professionals in urban areas of Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Vietnam and South Africa.

“This report clearly shows that methods of selling baby milk remain unacceptably intrusive, deceptive and aggressive,” said WHO Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging better regulation and, above all, enforcement. best. Because there is already an international code, adopted in 1981, which aims to protect young mothers against aggressive marketing by the food industry. Therefore, the industry is trampling on it.

According to the WHO/Unicef ​​survey, more than half of those surveyed have been harassed by the industry, often in violation of said code. Not only young parents, but also health professionals are bombarded with misleading and unscientific information about the dangers of breastfeeding and the benefits of factory-produced infant milk. Women are frightened by unsubstantiated stories about the need for whole milk in the first few days after birth, the immunity a baby would develop from it, and about the insufficient nutritional value of breastfeeding.

€50 billion

The industry, valued at around €50 billion, succeeds in seriously undermining young mothers’ confidence in breastfeeding. “Incorrect and misleading information about infant milk is a major barrier to breastfeeding, which we know is in the best interest of babies and mothers,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, who just to be sure ‘ its’ action: breastfeeding alone within an hour of birth and then for the first six months, and then for two years or more in combination with infant milk, a great defense against malnutrition and obesity.

“In addition,” Russell said, “breastfeeding serves as the first vaccine, protecting the baby against many childhood diseases and limiting a mother’s risk of diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.” Despite those benefits, only 44 percent of babies worldwide are breastfed alone for the first six months. That has hardly increased in the last twenty years, while the sale of industrial milk has more than doubled in the same period.

Breastfeeding can serve as the first vaccination. ©Getty Images


In that context, both organizations say it is deeply concerning that the food industry in the eight countries surveyed has approached large numbers of health professionals to push for it. In exchange for research grants, paid meeting attendance, and sometimes even sales commissions, they had to mislead young parents and placate free samples and giveaways. More than a third of the women surveyed had been approached by a health professional with advice about a specific brand of whole milk.

Based on their report, the WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments, health professionals and industry to tighten the rules, fully implement the existing code, invest in breastfeeding and decent parental leave, and ban for health professionals to disrupt any part of the food industry. .take

Olvarit Porridge with roast turkey and Keurslager without animal welfare requirements. They were two of the five products that had options to win the title ‘Liegebeest 2021’ of the Wakker Dier Foundation:

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