In a release Nestlé made it clear it supports breast feeding for the first six months and “thereafter for as long as possible” but its “nutrition system for infants and toddlers” was there for non-breastfed babies.
The products, called BabyNes, have been launched in Switzerland and backed by an information website the pro-breast milk lobby group, Baby Milk Action (BMA), said contravened the breast milk substitute marketing International Code, even though the Swiss launch meant the EU breast milk marketing directive did not apply.
“Nestlé is claiming in its announcement to respect the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for breast milk substitutes, yet at the very same time violating it by press releasing magazines which go out to the public,” said the BMA’s Patti Rundall.
“This is totally against the International Code and resolutions - which covers not only the formula but the feeding equipment too.”
In its releaseNestlé said: “The composition of the six consecutive formulas meets the evolving nutritional needs in the first three years of life: four formulas in the first year, and one formula for each of the following two years. The customised composition of these products is tailored to suit the growth pattern in early life and the baby’s changing nutritional needs, while taking into account the steady introduction of solid food into the infant’s diet.”
But NutraIngredients was unable to determine the content of the six formulas at the time of publication.
Each of the dispensing machines sells for 240CHF (€195) with deliveries available in Switzerland within 48 hours.
“The single-serve portions are sealed in capsules, used in the proprietary BabyNes machine, which recognises each capsule and prepares the bottle with precisely the right dosage and temperature, at the push of a button, in less than one minute,” Nestlé said.
But Rundall wondered about the delivery mechanism. “We are not against any company improving the safety of its products - but it’s not at all clear if this is designed to do that. If there is powder in the capsule then it must be added to water at 70degrees so how can this be done and cooled in one minute?”
Nestlé clarified: "The water filter is built into each capsule, not the machine. There is a direct flow from the capsule into the bottle to ensure optimal hygiene and safety."