Infant Formula Maker Mead-Johnson Plans Free Lunch "Education" Seminar On Infant Feeding with Speakers from the UofA Faculty

Originally posted on our BACE Facebook Page on March 7, 2012

The Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) has learned that a Mead-Johnson education program featuring three University of Alberta faculty members is scheduled for Edmonton, at the Westin hotel this Saturday March 10th. This education event contravenes the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (Resolution 34.22) and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions.

This education event contravenes the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (Resolution 34.22) and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/wha_nutrition_iycn/en/  

This ‘Code’ protects breastfeeding and ALL babies. Many resolutions in the Code and WHA Resolutions advise against health professionals having any relationship with manufacturers of infant foods marketed for under 2 years of age, bottles, nipples, teats, etc. as this creates a conflict of interest.   

Free education and meals induce reciprocal action and indebtedness.  These sessions are framed as educational but the reality is that they are highly effective marketing to health professionals. There is no free lunch.

On the heels of giving Nestle an honorary degree, the relationship between the University of Alberta and International Code violators continues. The University of Alberta has a long history of cooption by artificial baby milk companies.  It is time for this questionable relationship to end.  For too long it has undermined the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens.

All three doctors presenting at this event are in contravention of the WHO Code, as is Mead-Johnson, Johnson & Johnson and any health professional who attends the event.  Since the College of Family Physicians of Canada is currently offering continuing education credits for attending this event, they are not only in contravention of the Code but also their own Infant Feeding Policy Statement that was adopted in 2004.

To express your concern please write to Ms. Toms and Ms. Stiksma as well as the College of Family Physicians, the doctors presenting at this event and the University of Alberta where these doctors have professorships, to let them know that this type of “educational” event is unethical and request that this event be cancelled.  Please also request that the College of Family Physicians of Canada not issue Main Pro C credits for this program as it contravenes their own policy.  Separate letters to the Edmonton Journal are also encouraged.

Contacts:
Mead Johnson:  Heather.Toms@mjn.com
Johnson & Johnson: cstiksma@ITS.JNJ.com
Dr. J. Patidar: jpatidar@ualberta.ca
Dr. Tim Vanderleek: tim.vanderleek@ualberta.ca
Dr. Brad Stewart: bjs@ualberta.ca
College of Family Physcians Canada: info@cfpc.ca
University of Alberta President: uofapres@ualberta.ca
University of Alberta Senate: senate.office@ualberta.ca
University of Alberta Health Ethics Center: dossetor.centre@ualberta.ca
Dr. Barbara Ballerman, Chair of the Faculty of Medicine: barbara.ballermann@ualberta.ca
Edmonton Journal letters:  letters@edmontonjournal.com


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