Reports accuse Nestle of adding sugar to baby food

Nestlé is accused of adding more sugar to baby food sold in lower- and middle-income countries.

The reports say more affluent markets got healthier versions.

This is according to a recent report released by a nonprofit group.

This investigation was reportedly carried out by the Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organisation, in collaboration with the International Baby Food Action Network, a coalition focused on improving maternal and infant health.

The findings, which were published showed that the global food company based in Switzerland adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold to Nigeria and other countries such as India, Brazil, and the Philippines, contrary to international guidelines.

Samples of Nestle’s baby food produ cts sold in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were however sent to Belgium for laboratory testing.

The laboratory tests showed added sugar, such as sucrose or honey, in samples of Cerelac, a cereal for children between six months and two years old.

The same applied to Nido, a follow-up milk formula brand intended for infants of at least one-year-old.

According to the report, while baby formulas sold in Europe for children 12 – 36 months contained no sugar, formulas sold to lower-income countries contained a significant amount of sugar.

The reports say efforts to get the reactions of both Nestle in Nigeria and the country’s food regulator- National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), were unsuccessful.

While regular calls made to the company’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Victoria Uwadoka, did not connect, those made via WhatsApp rang out as she did not pick.

She, however, later replied to a message sent to her WhatsApp line, requesting that an email should be sent to an address she provided. But an automatic reply to the mail sent by our reporter indicated that her response may be delayed.

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