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APHA policies call for Nestle boycott.

I have been asked to write to you on behalf of conversations on APHA's Maternal and Child Health Section's Breastfeeding Committee listserve and others who are disappointed in APHA's lack of action following the acceptance of Nestle as an exhibitor at the 2007 APHA Annual Meeting.

APHA has had approved policy in support of breastfeeding for more than 33 years. Following on policy that condemned aggressive advertising of formula that was resulting in public health risks, in 1981, APHA Policy No. 8126: Nestle Boycott," was approved in order to draw public attention to these misleading marketing practices. This stance has been reconfirmed by APHA in policy references in 1982, 2001 and 2005, as well as in the policy that was considered and approved in 2007.

While it was pleasant to see coverage of the Ban the Bag campaign in The Nation's Health (December 2007/January 2008), there was no comment on the issue of Nestle. Not only was there no apology, but rather there is an announcement that the Nestle booth won first place for booths in the commercial category, without comment.

Given this breach of APHA policies, we suggest there be, minimally, a full article in The Nation's Health re-explaining the vital public health importance of breastfeeding in the United States and globally and the rationale for the ongoing boycott.

Thank you very much for addressing this issue fully in the near future.

Miriam Labbok,


Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Title Annotation:LETTERS: Personal perspectives on public health
Author:Labbok, Miriam
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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