Nestlé ‘bypasses’ baby milk code

“Thirty years after a boycott of Nestlé products was launched to highlight its unethical marketing of baby formula in developing countries, baby formula manufacturers are still failing in their responsibilities towards the world’s poorest mothers and babies, Save the Children claims today.
It says around 1.4 million children die each year of illnesses such as diarrhoea that could have been prevented if they were being breastfed. But – despite the dangers of mixing infant formula with dirty water and using unsterile bottles – food companies continue to use aggressive marketing techniques to keep their share of a multi-million pound market.
Since 1981, baby milk manufacturers have been bound by a World Health Organisation-ratified code which bans direct marketing to mothers and free samples, which can undermine successful breastfeeding. But, the report says, “manufacturers are still flouting the code by heavily promoting manufactured baby milk and food”.
A Guardian investigation in Bangladesh found widespread use of “prescription pads”, where Nestlé reps give health workers tear-off pads, with pictures of their products, for them to pass on to mothers. Nestlé spokesman Robin Tickle said he did not believe the pads equated to promotion of the company’s formula milks. The device was “a safety measure”, to help mothers to be sure the milk they were buying was the right kind for their baby.”
Guardian, Tuesday May 15, 2007
My bold, above. I don’t even particularly like kids, but it’s incredible that a major corporation could have so little respect for humanity. I wonder what the difference between the baby formula market profit and the amount they’d gain back if people could stop boycotting them is.
And a 2003 BBC article for more background on the baby milk marketing code: Baby milk marketing ‘breaks rules’.

Randomly, some choice insults from AWAD: “Ignorant blackguards, illiterate blockheads, besotted drunkards, drivelling simpletons, ci-devant mountebanks, vagabonds, swindlers and thieves..disgraceful gang of pettifoggers”
The .Net course goes on, and time crawls. The lab sessions are really annoying because they spoon feed you everything. The exercise might say, create a new instance of blah, declare an array of whatever, call this method, set properties, la la la… and then it gives you all the code, right there on the page. Fair enough some people might not have all the syntax to hand, but surely they could provide a primer and refer to it – how are you meant to learn if you’re just typing in someone else’s code? No wonder Microsoft certification doesn’t mean anything in the real world… ignorant blockheads. The instructor is quite good and I suppose I’m learning some useful stuff but overall, bring on Friday.

I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I think the key word is ‘identities’ – it’s not ‘identity’. How do we manage our multiple identities when the barriers that kept them apart – the separation of work and home life, the discretion of friends who might meet family, the discretion of family who might meet friends – are falling? I have a ‘real name’ and an online name – a queer identity, and a neutral one (though it’s not hard to guess when you meet me, it’s not the first thing I want you to know about me if I’m presenting a conference paper) – a trashy side and a respectable one. I don’t want them all present for all people. But is that a 20th century idea? I could maintain two identities – a professional and a personal one, but that seems dishonest. But on the other hand, I can be a deeply private person and don’t fancy letting go of that.
Finding myself through online identities
“…the nature of my engagement with the online world is changing in a very significant way.
Until now my online presence has been carefully managed and controlled, and although you can find out anything you care to ask about my views, politics, lack of religious belief and opinions on technology and the internet the persona that emerges from the last twenty years of online activity keep as much hidden as it reveals.
I rarely talk about my personal life, and reveal few details of my family or close relationships.

With my calendar, my location, my friendships and my opinions all online to be read and remembered, there’s little of me left to expose.

Those of us living in the west, with cheap easy access to computers and the internet and a sophisticated technological infrastructure surrounding us, are increasingly living our lives online.
This is no more frightening than any other vast social change, but it will be resisted by many who see in the loss of privacy something threatening, who believe it is dangerous or dehumanising or somehow against nature.
But we should never forget that we make human nature, it is not given to us, and we can therefore remake it.
Our modern conception of privacy and of the nature of the individual is a product of the industrial age that is now passing, so it should not surprise us that we are finding new ways of constructing an identity online. ”

A great leap backward…

“Some of the UK’s best-selling chocolate bars, such as Mars and Twix, will no longer be suitable for vegetarians.
Also affecting brands such as Snickers and Maltesers, owner Masterfoods said it had started to use animal product rennet to make its chocolate products.
Masterfoods said the change was due to it switching the sourcing of its ingredients and the admission was a “principled decision” on its part.”
I think the Vegetarian Society got it right:
“At a time when more and more consumers are concerned about the provenance of their food, Masterfoods’ decision to use non-vegetarian whey is a backward step”

Oh, and…

Oh, and the cleaner told me off for daring to try and use the toilet at the start of the lunch break.
She challenged me, “what do you want to do?” and I really meekly said, “use the toilet?” and she told me to bugger off.
Oh, and there’s a guy who looks like David Brent. Deadset.
I can’t access most of my email so feel free to leave comments to amuse, abuse or annoy me further.

Slightly irritated geek

I’m really quite bored. I’m on a week-long ASP.NET training course and since I don’t particularly want to learn .Net, I feel like the bored rebellious teenager in the back of the room. By coincidence, I even have the dodgy leather jacket. I haven’t fallen asleep so far but it’s probably only a matter of time.
The training centre is full of tellingly over-cocky people with regional accents who’ve travelled in from the further reaches of the world outside London (it exists, apparently), and the ‘coffee’ is Nescafe but at least it’s near Old St so I can pop into the office afterwards and keep the plates spinning there.
I’m already annoyed at some of the stupid things about Visual Studio .Net, like wtf is up with storing the project files in My Documents? What kind of idiot thought a development environment that stores config and header files in the login of a single user was a good idea? The worst part is I’ll actually have to do some work with the damn thing when the course is over.
Actually, that’s not the worst part – the worst part is they don’t provide lunch or luncheon vouchers!