Home Economy Nestle adds sugar to baby food in low-income countries: Report

Nestle adds sugar to baby food in low-income countries: Report


(NewsNation) — Nestle, the Swiss food company that sells 20% of the world’s baby food, adds sugar to some of its infant products sold in countries like Thailand, The Philippines, Senegal, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a new report from the group Public Eye.

“For Nestle, not all babies are equal when it comes to added sugar,” the report charges. A day after the report’s release, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said an investigation into the allegations had begun.

World Health Organization guidelines ban sugar in foods intended for children under three, and Nestle’s products sold in Europe don’t contain sugar.

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The group collected baby food and formula products made by Nestle under many different brands around the world and analyzed the ingredients.

In one example, biscuit-flavored cereals for babies aged 6 months and older in Senegal and South Africa contained 6 grams of added sugar for every serving, while the same product sold in Switzerland has none.

In Brazil, two out of eight Nestle products were found to have no added sugar, but six others contained nearly four grams for each serving. In Nigeria, one product tested had up to 6.8 grams, the report added.

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The report is a joint effort of Public Eye and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). It’s releasing a petition at Nestle’s annual general meeting in Switzerland that “demands that Nestle put an end to this unjustifiable and harmful double standard, which contributes to the explosive rise of obesity and leads children to develop a life-long preference for sugary products.”

Nestle told Public Eye and IBFAN that it “has reduced by 11% the total amount of added sugars in [its] infant cereal portfolio worldwide” over the past decade and that it will “further reduce the level of added sugars without compromising on quality, safety and taste.”

Nestle’s subsidiary in India went further, saying, ‘’Over the past five years, we have already reduced added sugars by up to 30 per cent, depending on the variant. We regularly review our portfolio and continue to innovate and reformulate our products to further reduce the level of added sugars, without compromising on nutrition, quality, safety, and taste.”

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