Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Children's Author Refuses Award


Many months ago, Heather, a lactation consultant up at Bassett Army Community Hospital, warned me of Nestle's misleading marketing tactics, presently and in the past, of infant formula.

Comments such as, "We plan on giving our baby only the very best formula, why would my infant need breast milk?" are alarming comments made from mothers lacking education on the benefits of breastfeeding and who get pulled into marketing schemes such as Nestle's. Heather encouraged me to boycott all Nestle products (for more info on the Nestle Boycott, click here). Since then, I try to avoid Nestle products, being the lactivist that I am. It's quite hard. Look at labels - Nestle distributes more products than you are probably aware of.

When I stumbled across this article at Mothering.com, I was impressed:

British children's author Sean Taylor, winner of the Nestlé Children's Book Prize 2007, refused to accept a check as part of his recent award, presented in December. Taylor, who won the prize for his book When a Monster is Born, said that he could not accept the money because of his concerns over the marketing tactics used by Nestlé in their promotion of infant formula.

In an open letter explaining his decision, Taylor said that he was honored to have won the prize because it is awarded on the basis of children's votes, but he could not accept Nestlé's money because "their interpretation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes sets up the risk that profit is put before infant health." After examining their baby formula marketing practices, Taylor said, "I do not feel that Nestlé are the most appropriate sponsors for this major children's book prize."

A global marketing report recently released by the
International Baby Food Action Network found that Nestlé is the leading violator of the International Code for the Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.

Taylor made his decision after consulting with representatives from Nestlé, anti- Nestlé group Baby Milk Action, and an unnamed third party with "experience in the field."

For more information visit
http://www.babymilkaction.org/press/press12dec07.html.

I plan on buying his book when I place my next book order. He may not have accepted the award, but, he and his book are certainly award-worthy!

2 comments:

House Dad said...

Yeah for Mr. Taylor taking a stand but why not take the money and donate it to charity?

Natalie said...

That's a good idea. It would have been a slam if he turned around and donated the money to a milk bank or something breastfeeding related. However, I don't think he wants his name attached to Nestle in any way b/c some view Nestle getting involved in the Booktrust for a specific reason:

"Nestlé is sponsoring the children's book prize organised by the Booktrust. The book prize is a scheme where short-listed books are distributed to a number of schools, whose students vote for their favourites. Campaigners say Nestlé involvement is an attempt to divert criticism from its activities, improve its image amongst students and reposition itself as a responsible company.

For more info on the Nestle Boycott see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott