05 July 2011

Nestle Boycott

I know I'm known as quite the boob nazi, and honestly while the nazi part is a little extreme when it comes to the title, I gladly and proudly hold the title for breastfeeding supporter and encourager!  Yep, I do believe breast is best, although I can see the need for formula I will never consider it to be the first choice, that should always be breastfeeding.

Now when it comes to Nestle, I don't expect anyone else to read this and then suddenly decide that I'm saying you're a bad uncaring person because you buy nestle products.  Isn't it sad that I have to put all these disclaimers just in case I hurt someone's feelers?  Anyways, back to topic.  I heard about nestle from a friend, and I didn't immediately decide to boycott right then and there, although my friend is very passionate on this topic, like I'm not right?  I did my research first.  I looked into how valid the claim that nestle was marketing to women who are unable to afford formula, and live in condition where pure clean water is available, and pushing formula on these women.  Undermining breastfeeding, and essentially putting these infants in danger.  After looking into it I saw that it is completely a valid claim.  Nestle is unethically, and against WHO regulations, undermining breastfeeding in third world countries where breastfeeding NEEDS to happen for the babies health.  Breastmilk will always be sterile, but formula is unsterile as soon as it leaves the can.  Then add that some of the women who were given a ton of formula samples in the hospitals they delivered in, then sent home to their small villages with no running water, only a small river that everyone uses to bathe and wash things in, and it's a recipe for disaster.  The bottles are never fully clean, the water has soap, bacteria and who knows what else, and suddenly that formula really does become poison.  It's not the formula itself, but everything else that makes it dangerous.  Nestle is unconcerned with this though, as they just want to encourage sales.  These women area also dirt poor, and so not only are they using unsanitary bottles, nipples and water, but they also use less formula then they are supposed to in order to buy less formula.

So when you hear that 150,000 babies a year could be saved by breastfeeding, those are the babies we're talking about.  Yes, if you're in a developed country, have access to sterile water and ways to clean your bottles, you're probably not going to kill your baby by using formula, but not every woman who is told formula is just so awesome has those options.  Those women should be encouraged to breastfeed, supported in breastfeeding, and it's sad that these women are pressured to formula feed when it's so dangerous in those situations.

It really does make me want to cry.

This is why I boycott nestle.  It's also why I support breastfeeding, and it's why I want to see breastfeeding become normal again.