Danone targeting pregnant women and mothers with formula stands at Ireland's Forever Baby Fair

The Forever Baby Fair in Castlebar, Ireland, on Sunday 9 October 2011 is being promoted on the internet and has been reported to BFLG as the same companies that operate in the UK are involved. Indeed, Danone's formula sold in the UK is imported from Ireland.

The event is sponsored by baby food and feeding bottle companies, that feature prominently on the home page.

Pages on the Forever Baby Fair site for these sponsors and exhibitors reveal that they will be targeting pregnant women and mothers of infants about infant feeding from birth. 

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (see The Law section) states clearly in Article 5.5: "Marketing personnel, in their business capacity, should not seek direct or indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and young children."

Article 5.1 states: "There should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this Code."

It is clear from the site that Danone will be promoting its breastmilk substitutes directly to pregnant women and mothers.

Danone's Cow & Gate stand description states: "At Cow & Gate, we recognise that the early years of life are an important time for growth and development, and for establishing the foundations for lifelong healthy eating habits. That’s why we are devoted to helping you feed your baby the right nutrition at each stage of their development." It also promotes the companies "careline" as a source of information.

Danone's Aptamil stand description shows how the company draws equivalence between its breastmilk substitutes and breastfeeding, stating: "Aptamil’s success can be attributed to our long-term programme of research into the composition of breast milk. Since then, it has been our mission to learn from all the natural benefits breast milk has to offer." Again it is putting its staff in the place of health workers as the source of information on infant feeding, stating: "we have put together a team of experts who can advise you on every aspect of pregnancy and early motherhood – providing reassurance and the information you need."

Click on the screenshots below for larger versions.

If you attend the event, please gather materials and information from the stands and make a report in the 'Report violations' section.

Also see the reports under SMA and NUK for their violation of the International Code at the same event.