For More Information Contact: Public Citizen (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: May 21st, 2014

Infant Formula Manufacturers Criticized for Violating World Health Organization Marketing Standards

Consumer and Public Health Advocates Deliver Petition to Formula Maker Mead Johnson at Headquarters in Chicago

Contact: Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741
Eva Seidelman (202) 588-7751

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To mark the thirty-third anniversary of the World Health Organization’s adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (the “WHO Code”), more than 20 organizations and thousands of moms and citizens today are participating in a day of action directed at the largest formula makers – Mead Johnson (of Enfamil), Abbott (Similac) and Nestle (Gerber Good Start). They are urging the companies to end the unethical practice of promoting formula in health care facilities, particularly through the distribution of commercial discharge bags with formula samples – a longstanding violation of the code.

Citizens and mothers are delivering a petition with more than 17,000 signatures to Mead Johnson, one of the largest, most aggressive formula marketers, at its headquarters outside of Chicago in Glenview, Ill. The petition also will be presented to Abbott and Nestle. Thousands of others are taking action remotely, sending photos and messages to companies on Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms. A diverse group of consumer rights, public health, women’s health, corporate accountability and breastfeeding advocacy organizations are co-sponsoring the effort. The day of action is not meant to advocate against formula use if necessary but to focus on the need to give mothers information that hasn’t been influenced by formula companies.

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