New Internationalist

Briefly…

Issue 191

new internationalist
issue 191 - January 1989

BRIEFLY...

BABYMILK

Boycott Nestlé and Wyeth
[image, unknown] Survey findings published in May 1988 by the International Organization of Consumer Unions and the International Babyfood Action Network show Nestlé and Wyeth to be among the six worst corporate violators of the joint WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The others were Milupa, Boots! Farley, Meiji and Namyang.

The Code, adopted in 1981 by the World Health Assembly and clarified by subsequent resolutions, requires all milk companies and makers of feeding bottles and teats to have adequate labels and refrain from direct advertising and inappropriate marketing of soft foods or follow-up milks for infants. Also there should be no promotion of baby foods within health care systems or to nurses and other health care workers and no free samples or supplies.

Monitoring has shown that Nestlé and Wyeth, a subsidiary of American Home Products, have continued giving free samples of babymilk in hospitals. In Singapore almost all newborns were fed on donated milk and new mothers given free samples of Nestlé and Wyeth formula. In Thailand, some hospitals were given enough free supplies to continuously bottle-feed every newborn baby, with a surplus of supplies left over.

These revelations have brought renewed boycott appeals from the US public interest group, Action for Corporate Accountability (ACTION) and the International Nestlé Boycott Committee for Europe.

For further information on action being taken in readers' own countries contact IOSU/IFSAN, POBox 1045, 10830 Penang, Malaysia. In UK contact the Babymilk Action Coalition, 34 Bunco Grove, Cambridge CBJ 4T5. In the US: Action for Corporate Accountability 3255 Hennepin Ave. South. Suite 230. Minneapolis MN 55408.

POLITICS

New times
A special issue of Marxism Today has printed a list comparing the ideas and people of the 'Modern Times' - up to the end of the 1970s - with those of the New Times' which we now face. Does it strike any chords?

Modern times

New Times

Modem

Post-modem

Steinbeck

Pynchon

Le Corbusier

Venturi

Sartre

Foucault

Futurism

Nostalgia

Marlon Brando

William Hurt

Production

Consumption

Mass-market

Market segmentation

Ford

Toyota

Self-control

Remote control

Depth

Surface

Belief

Credit

Elvis

Michael Jackson

Interpretation

Deconstruction

Relationships

White weddings

Maxwell House

Acid House

Angst

Boredom

Stalinism

Glasnost

Emotion

Affectation

Free love

Free market

From Marxism Today, October, 1988

MALAYSIA

Toys for the boys
Over $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) worth of military equipment is going to be bought by Malaysia from Britain over the next 15 to 20 years. Last September Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad spectacularly reversed his previous policy of 'Buy British Last' campaign (an attempt to shake off what he had called a hangover from colonial days). He signed a Memorandum of Understanding at 10 Downing Street for an awful lot of expensive equipment including:

· 12 Tornado fighter aircraft from British Aerospace (BAe)

· 12 Rapier air defence missile systems from the same company.

· 105 mm light guns from BAe subsidiary, Royal Ordinance

· About 30 FH7O towed howitzers from Vickers Shipbuilding & Engineering

· Air defence radar from GEC Marconi

· About 50 Javelin ground-to-air missile launchers from Shorts

· A refurbished Oberon class submarine

Why Malaysia needs all this weaponry is not clear. For there is no potentially threatening neighbour for the guns to be used against.

Incidentally, the arms deal was confirmed just a couple of months after the British Foreign Secretary at the UN Third Special Session on Disarmament questioned whether the surplus of weaponry in the world was making us safer and talked of the arsenals of the Third World absorbing scarce resources.

From Campaign Against the Arms Trade Newsletter 93, 1988

SINGAPORE

Scorning the nerds
[image, unknown] Women in many countries are becoming more choosy about their husbands. They might want one better educated, wealthier, taller or even more emancipated. And they will stay single because they cannot find such a partner. In Singapore where about 30 per cent of college-educated women have remained unmarried, the Government is concerned about this threat to the State.

'Competence will decline,' suggests Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, 'our economy will falter, our administration will suffer, society will decline.' Trying to encourage larger families and cope with an educated population that doesn't procreate, the Government has instituted a matchmaking service. Only for the college-educated, the service lays on moonlight 'love cruises', tea dances, bowling clinics, and seminars on such subjects as personal investment. A Government official busy encouraging women to be less choosy tells them, 'You cannot look for Mr Right or Mr Perfect.' For foreign reporters she explained, 'We ask our women to play softer, to play a little dumb if possible.' She concedes however that Singapore men are rough material to work with. For they 'concentrate on theft career and have few social graces.' Unfortunately many are 'scorned as nerds ... We try to teach them - maybe not to be Prince Charmings, but ... to be halfway, not to be frogs'.

From International Herald Tribune

DEBT

Soccer export
Brazil's foreign creditors usually want payments in hard currency. But Philips, the Dutch electronics multinational has a new angle. The company is exchanging $4 million worth of loans for 1.5 billion cruzados, the national currency, to buy a Brazilian football star. His name is Romario Farias; one of the team which won the silver medal at the Seoul Olympics last year. He is now contracted to play for PSV Eindhoven, sponsored by Philips in the Netherlands.

From Time, November 7, 1988

ANIMAL RIGHTS

Sows in prison
There are about eight million pigs on British farms, of which about 800,000 are breeding sows. More than half the sows are kept in close confinement systems. Pigs by nature are rooting, foraging and exploratory animals, happy to wander for up to six hours a day. But with this factory farming system, sows are confined in narrow stalls or tethered in rows by neck straps or girth straps shackled to the floor. There is usually no bedding and the sows stand or lie on concrete. They have no exercise, cannot turn around and in pregnancy have difficulty getting up or lying down.

Lameness, sores, hip problems and psychiatric disorders (manifested by bar biting) are common. A string of official reports both from the European Convention for the Protection of Animals and the House of Commons has condemned close confinement of sows. The Farm Animal Welfare Council is the latest to call for a phasing out of the system. Find out more from:

Compassion in World Farming, 20 Lavant Street, Petersfleld GU32 3EW, UK

'It is organized violence on top which creates individual violence at the bottom.'

Emma Goldman

'I'm sure there were a bunch of liberal lawyers telling the Jews on the way to Auschwitz
that if they didn't make any fuss they'd be out in six months on good behaviour.'

Jimmy Breslin

'Money doesn't talk it swears.
Obscenity who really cares?
Propaganda - All is phony.'

Bob Dylan

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