Sunday, 4 October 2009
My thoughts on #nestlefamily
I've sat and watched a big drama unfold on Twitter over the past few days. Seems that Nestle invited a bunch of bloggers to LA, paid for their hotel/air fare and gave them the opportunity to ask questions and test products. Bloggers tweeted using the hashtag #nestlefamily leading up to, during and after the event.
However many of the bloggers attending the event have been criticised for not being aware of Nestle's chequered history regarding formula marketing, child labour and other issues. Annie at PhDinParenting sums up the problems many people have with Nestle that have led to there being an international boycott of their products that has been going on since the 1970s. Some tried to make it about breastfeeding versus formula, commenting that mothers in the Third World who are malnourished are unable to breastfeed their infants, and therefore Nestle is doing an honourable thing in giving them formula samples. This is, in most cases, not true. If Nestle really wanted to improve the health of people in developing countries they'd give food to the mothers, NOT formula to their infants.
I did see name calling on both sides of the #nestlefamily debate - but if I'm honest, I saw the worst offences coming from those defending Nestle, with the boycotters being called Nazis and Communists, at the same time making jokes about child labour and talking enthusiastically about cookie dough. Most of the bloggers attending were respectful to the cause but one thing that has bothered me is how so many took Nestle's responses at face value (see Lauredhel's critique of this) yet stated that sites like IBFAN and BabyMilkAction were biased and therefore not to be taken as an objective source. To this I would say - Who actually stands to benefit, financially? IBFAN and BabyMilkAction are non profit organisations.
On a positive note I feel this has brought a lot of attention to the boycott, which can only be a good thing!