15 Oct The movie Tigers salutes the courage of a salesman turned whistleblower
Aamir was a Nestlé baby formula salesman (a.k.a. “medical delegate”) in Pakistan from 1994 to 1997. When a doctor told him that babies were dying from unsafe bottle feeding, Aamir asked why and the doctor replied, ‘Because of people like you.’ Aamir had been taught to market the company’s produts aggressively to doctors and parents. The company provided him with funds and resources to organise baby shows and gifts to doctors to encourage them to recommend his company’s formula. He received bonuses for hitting his formula and baby food sales targets. Aamir learnt that all this was in violation of marketing rules adopted through the United Nations (the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly). He quit his job, but realised that was not enough. So he tried to expose and stop the corporation’s malpractice.
IBFAN-ICDC’s Director, Annelies Allain met Aamir back in 1998, at a Training on Code Monitoring in Delhi, India. She examined his evidence, such as receipts for gifts to doctors, salary bonus slips based on achieving sales targets and more. She concluded that these were violating the Code, that this man was holding a “smoking gun” and that it should go public (See picture below of Amir when he met IBFAN experts in India).