HONDURAS – Showcasing Mead Johnson products

Code Violations
Promotion in health facilities & to health workers

Mead Johnson

Mead Johnson Global Headquarters
225 North Canal Street
25th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606 USA

www.meadjohnson.com

Mead Johnson was among the companies prominently present at the National Congress of Honduras Pediatric Association held at Hotel Clarion, Tegucigalpa from 21 to 23 February 2019. There were booths set up with huge banners advertising the Nutramigen Premium baby formula. Samples of Mead Johnson products are displayed on the table, supposedly for distribution to health professionals. Companies should not provide samples of products to health workers and it violates Article 7.4 of the International Code.  Likewise, health workers should not provide such samples to pregnant women, mothers and family members of infants and young children.

Infiltrating professional conferences or events which are attended by health workers gives Mead Johnson easy access to promote their products within the health system, especially to health professionals who have direct contact with mothers. The qualifications and role of a health professional can serve as a form of powerful endorsement used to promote products.

At the event, a Mead Johnson banner states that the Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM), an ingredient contained in their product is “inspired by breastmilk” – blatant idealising text to suggest that the product is comparable to breastmilk. For health professionals, Article 7.2 of the International Code allows only product information that is factual and scientific.  Promotional text and images as such are certainly forbidden.