Nestle and BlogHer Sponsorship: Creating an Unsafe place for women
I just got done reading a friend of a friend’s blog, Leaky Boob[i], and since I had an immediate reaction, I realized I needed to write a response right away. I quickly looked it up, and all over the internet, I confirmed that this was the case… which honestly, I look back and am glad that I didn’t go to the conference in 2010, because the sponsorship of an anti-woman corporation for a pro woman conference would have been too hypocritical for me to feel comfortable enough to get past it. I’m sure it would have clouded my judgment. I would have noticed Nestle’s influence all over the conference, and I would have felt terrible for paying for such a conference, and contributing to the oppression of women all over the world.
Why is Nestle so bad, and why should BlogHer consider not taking their money for a sponsorship? Let me explain.
This corporation is huge, a multi-national corporation. Located in many countries all over the world, it has enough money to influence politics, marketing, and is on the whole, unregulated. While it may from time to time acquire fines (or not) it is not expected to change any illegal practices. It becomes unregulated and is coercive and unsafe.
How is Nestle any woman and anti child? Nestle puts its profit, dollar bills, above the health and safety of women and children. It has an advertising campaign that bombards people in several countries stating that women who have had twins or has had premature births should not breast feed. They state that providing infant formula is just as good if not Better for babies. This is untrue.
According to The Science Network of Western Australia (2008) [ii],
“…in essence, a new mother’s mammary glands take over from the placenta to provide the development guidance to ensure a baby’s genetic destiny is fulfilled.
“It is setting the baby up for the perfect development,” he says. “We already know that babies who are breast fed have an IQ advantage and that there’s a raft of other health benefits. Researchers also believe that the protective effects of being breast fed continue well into adult life.
“The point is that many mothers see milks as identical – formula milk and breast milk look the same so they must be the same. But we know now that they are quite different and a lot of the effects of breast milk versus formula don’t become apparent for decades. Formula companies have focussed on matching breast milk’s nutritional qualities but formula can never provide the developmental guidance.”
In addition to misleading millions of people stating that infant formula is as good if not better campaign, it also constains low levels of the toxin, Melamine. Melanine was found in infant formula in China, where hundreds of thousands of babies were ill, dumped the milk, US bought it and it is still contained in infant formula in the US. It’s levels are considered low. What is Melamine?
According to Wise Geek[iii],
“Melamine is an organic compound that is often combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a synthetic polymer which is fire resistant and heat tolerant... Melamine resin is manufactured by mixing melamine with formaldehyde, and sometimes urea, under heat and pressure…Melamine resin is known as a thermoset plastic, because the plastic is fixed after molding…Melamine can be made into a foam product...Melamine resin is used in Formica and similar construction products made from composite materials…Melamine also plays a role in a wide range of flame resistant materials.”
Why does Nestle put Melamine in their infant formula, on purpose? The World Health Organization[iv] states that,
“In China, where adulteration has occurred, water has been added to raw milk to increase its volume. As a result of this dilution the milk has a lower protein concentration. Companies using the milk for further production (e.g. of powdered infant formula) normally check the protein level through a test measuring nitrogen content. The addition of melamine increases the nitrogen content of the milk and therefore its apparent protein content.”
So, in other words, infant formula is not as healthy as breast milk, so they put a toxic filler into it to give it the illusion of having more protein. As a result, our food products, including infant formula is low levels of toxins in them. Yet Nestle states over and over how great beneficial their formula is, and yet, Reuters (2010)[v] “…in China, where at least six children died in a tainted milk scandal in 2008;” Newser[vi] (2007) “More than 8,000 deaths of cats and dogs that may be linked to melamine-tainted food have been reported to the FDA in the two months since the pet food recall;” Newsinferno(2008)[vii] states that, “according to the AP, the China Health Ministry just released a statement confirming that 294,000 infants fell ill with urinary disturbances, including kidney stones, as a result of the tainting;” The Baby Bond[viii] (2004) states that, “Formula Feeding Doubles Infant Deaths in America” and my final statistic, according to Baby Milk Action[ix], “The World Health Organisation estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. This figure has been stated in this and other forms by WHO and UNICEF many times over the years.”
But lying, irresponsible marketing, poisoning our babies, misleading ads that result in millions of babies being ill, millions babies around the world dying as a result of not being breast fed, and getting away with it all is just the beginning. It doesn’t even touch on issues regarding exploiting employees, supporting brutal and repressive regimes or abusing animal.s Do your research, you can start by checking out McSpotlight at http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/companies/nestle.html.
I hope that in the future BlogHer conferences will not accept donations from corporations that are vehemently opposed to women. Corporate anti-woman and child practices influencing a conference designed to empower women takes away the integrity of the movement and creates an unsafe place for such an experience. Thanks for listening!
[ii] Madden, Catherine. 2008, February 10. Breast Milk Contains Stem Cells. The Science Network of Western Australia. http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20081102-16879-4.html .