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Row over Nestlé's 'Baby milk Nespresso'

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12:35 CEST+02:00

A capsule machine for substitute baby milk formula is being criticized in Switzerland, where its producer, the consumer product giant Nestlé, is testing it.

The concept of the BabyNes milk machine is an evolution of the hugely popular coffee machines of Nespresso, also produced by the Switzerland-based market leader.

The device, which comes with a specifically-designed website enriched with quizzes, videos and tips on feeding babies, extracts baby formula from capsules mixed with water. It vows to provide a “complete nutritional solution” through the use of six consecutive formulas, specifically suited for infants and kids up to three years of age.

The machine is going on sale exclusively in Switzerland, Nestlé said, but supporters of natural breastfeeding have already mounted a campaign, accusing the high-end BabyNes to be a product for wealthy Hollywood stars, rather than a solution for those mothers who have trouble breastfeeding their kids.

“My message to mothers buying BabyNes because it’s easy is this: it’s ecological madness; it’s a product of greed for cash. Those kids who drink milk capsules will probably drink Prosecco capsules when they grow up. Who wants a kid like that?” argues a highly critical blog post on the Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger. Similarly, the UK-based “Baby Milk Action” is calling for a boycott on Nestlé for the violation of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods.

But the Swiss company, based in Vevey in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, is rejecting accusations, saying it supports exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life in line with World Health Organisation recommendations, and promotes its breast milk substitutes for those infants who cannot be breastfed. 

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