Nestlé adds sugar to baby food in poorer countries; report

Nestlé adds sugar to baby food in poorer countries; report

Two of the best-selling baby-food brands marketed by Nestlé in low-and middle-income countries contain high levels of added sugar, a new report has found. But the same products are sugar free in Germany, France and the UK – Nestlé’s main European markets, as well as in Switzerland – Nestlé’s home country. These are the findings of an investigation led by Swiss NGO Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) – they say the Swiss food giant is getting kids in low-income countries hooked on sugar.

“Our investigation shows that, for Nestlé, not all babies are equal when it comes to added sugar,” they said in their report, adding that the “harmful double standard” contributes to the rise of obesity and leads children to develop a life-long preference for sugary products.

Campaigners from Public Eye sent samples of Nestlé’s baby-food products sold in Africa, Asia and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing. They found that most Cerelac and Nido products marketed in lower-income countries do contain added sugar, “often at high levels.”

In Switzerland, Nestlé promotes its biscuit-flavoured cereals for babies aged from six months with the claim “no added sugar,” while in Senegal and South Africa, Cerelac cereals with the same flavour contain 6 grams of added sugar per serving, according to Public Eye. Cerelac wheat-based cereals for six-month-old babies sold by Nestlé in Germany and the UK has no added sugar, while the same product contains over 5 grams per serving in Ethiopia and 6 grams in Thailand.

Public Eye said Nestlé did not respond to their specific questions regarding the double standard, but said it “has reduced by 11% the total amount of added sugars in [its] infant cereal portfolio worldwide” over the past decade.

Source: DW

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