Convened by UNU-IIGH and TWN

The substitution of breastfeeding with artificial commercial milk formula (CMF) feeding remains one of the big global public health challenges of our times. When compared to breastfeeding, artificial formula feeding increases health risks for mother and baby, hinders optimal child development, and causes more environmental harm. It is also expensive. And yet, CMF sales are booming. One reason for this is that large and powerful oligopolistic CMF companies have the financial power to deploy sophisticated marketing and political strategies to grow demand for their products and prevent effective regulation of the industry.  

This webinar marks the launch of a report co-published by UNU-IIGH, Third World Network, and Deakin University: Who benefits from undermining breastfeeding? Exploring the global commercial milk formula industry’s generation and distribution of wealth and income. The webinar begins with co-author Ben Wood (Deakin University) presenting new research on the economics of the CMF industry with particular reference to the size and concentration of CMF markets around the world and how the wealth and income generated by the industry is distributed across society, including to governments through taxation and to corporate shareholders. This is followed by keynote remarks from Richard Kozul-Wright (UNCTAD) about the financial and economic context of corporate activity in general, and the kind of reforms needed to rein in the corporate drivers of ill health. The webinar continues with a presentation of perspectives from Chee Yoke Ling (Third World Network), Henrik Hvaal (Save the Children), and Anshu Banerjee (WHO), and wraps up with a Q&A session moderated by Emma Rhule (UNU-IIGH). 

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