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European Parliament Committee on Development

The European Parliament Committee on Development and Co-operation Meeting on 22 November 2000

A special meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Development was held on 22 November to discuss "a legally binding framework for regulating the operations of European transnational companies in developing countries".
Campaign groups targeting sports equipment companies and infant formula companies, as well as a staff person from UNICEF appeared at the meeting.
Approximately 12 of the 35 members and 35 alternate members of the Committee attended the meeting .
Adidas, Nestlé, and other UN officials were also invited, but due to scheduling conflicts, sent their regrets. In responding to the Committee's invitation, Nestlé expressed its willingness to appear at future committee meetings, based on adequate prior notice and consideration of the agenda.
The Committee heard the results of an independent external audit of Nestlé's infant formula marketing practices in Pakistan, presented by Emerging Market Economics, a UK-based company with expertise in emerging market economies. The EME audit concluded that while three minor violations of the WHO Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes were found, the audit concluded that "the WHO Code is "imbedded in the policies, procedures, structure, and resource allocation of all the company's functions and work processes".

  • Additional Facts:
    Nestlé has unilaterally implemented the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in all the developing countries, and follows the EU Directive implementing the WHO Code in Europe.
  • Nestlé is the largest purchaser and distributor of the WHO Code in the world, having distributed thousands of copies of the Code, in many languages, to health facilities and professionals, and explained it contents.
  • In all 6 countries which have government-sponsored monitoring bodies related to the WHO Code, the governments are satisfied with Nestlé's compliance with the WHO Code, as implemented in their countries.
  • We regularly conduct internal monitoring of our practices according to the WHO Code and take action where necessary. Disciplinary action taken against managers who have broken the Code include freezing of salaries, withholding of bonuses, transfer, and termination.
  • Nestlé also investigates all allegations of breaking the Code, where sufficient evidence is provided. Wherever a case of breaking the Code can be verified, Nestlé takes action.
  • Nestlé is also one of the largest private suppliers of breastfeeding education materials throughout the world. Nestlé is, in addition, one of the largest distributors of scientific information about child feeding and nutrition.
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