At the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos, Nestlé – ‘Good food, good life’ – received 29 per cent of the vote for the ‘world’s least responsible company’ – twice as many votes as the next on the list: Monsanto.
Nestlé’s irresponsibility dates back as far as the 1960s and 1970s and started with “The Baby Killer” milk formula. African women were encouraged to feed their babies Nestle’ formula milk which lead to loss of babies’ lives.
The World Health Organisation says: “Globally, breastfeeding has the potential to prevent about 800,000 deaths among children under five, each year, if all children 0–23 months are optimally breastfed.”
A boycott of Nestlé was launched in the United States on July 7, 1977. Yet infant formula remains a $11.5-billion, and growing, market.
The Cornucopia Institute, a not-for-profit policy research organization based in Wisconsin, USA, filed a formal legal complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) against several infant formula manufacturers that are adding two synthetic preservatives to certified organic infant formula. The preservatives are beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate and are added to infant formula to prevent the oxidation and rancidity of ingredients such as the controversial patented supplements DHA and ARA, manufactured by Martek Biosciences Corporation (Royal DSM) and marketed as Life’s DHA.
On Nestle’ website – it is interesting to read: “DHA and ARA are nutrients naturally found in breast milk. Your body gets DHA and ARA from foods rich in these fatty acids”.
Studies carried out by Professor George Kent (University of Hawaii), show that the naturally occurring polyunsaturated fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) found in human milk are beneficial for babies’ brain, neural, and eye development. However, the synthetic versions of these compounds manufactured under the names DHASCO and ARASCO, but commonly referred to as DHA and ARA in infant formula, are a source of great controversy.
For years, infant formula manufacturers have been touting synthetic DHA and ARA as fatty acids that benefit infant brain development, but there is little evidence to support these claims. As early as 1996, some experts raised concerns about their use in infant formula. In 2010, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) called for a ban on the addition of DHA and ARA to infant formula sold with the “USDA organic” seal.
There’s a company called Senomyx, out of San Diego, which is a chemical company aimed at putting chemicals or ingredients into products to add “flavour” to them. Senomyx is paid by Nestle, PepsiCo, Ferminich, and Ajinomoto Co. Inc. to make their products taste better. I recently read an article about a prolife group which has criticized Senomyx for one key ingredient: HEK-293.
H.E.K. is an acronym which stands for human embryonic kidney cells. Senomyx put the cells of aborted fetuses as an ingredient into many products we consume.
Here is a list of a few products Nestle sells that probably contain HEK-283: Baby Foods – Cerelac, Gerber, NaturNes, Nestum; Bottled Water, Nestle Pure, Perrier, Poland Spring, S. Pellegrino; Cini Minis, Cookie Crisp, Fitness, Nesquik; Aero, Kit Kat, Smarties, Nespresso, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Lean Cuisine, Maggi, Nido; Drinks- Milo, Nesquik, Nestea.
It is also worth remembering that Nestlé is the global leader in the exploitation of water across the globe. It has 67 bottling factories and sells in more than 130 countries. In Pakistan, Nestlé invented a ‘blue-print factory’ that could be shipped to any location in the world. It chose Pakistan for a number of reasons, one of which is that it is the only country in the region that has an unregulated ground-water sector, meaning that anyone can simply dig a hole and extract as much water as they want without paying a penny. The “Pure Life water” has been produced in Pakistan, Asia, Africa and South America and is marketed as ‘capturing nature in its purest form’. In short, Nestlé now owns and distributes ‘nature’ on ‘every continent’.
The Council of Canadians, a social action organization, launched a boycott of Nestlé in September 2016 in response to the company outbidding a small town aiming to secure a long-term water supply through a local well, stressing the need for bottled water industry reforms as the country battles drought and depletion of ground water reserves.
Article by A. B. M. Procaccini