Nestlé Nutrition Institute
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Nestlé Nutrition Institute (NNI) is a research center created by Nestlé, the world's largest food corporation, to promote the health and nutritious value of Nestlé products to health care professionals. Their mission states, "The Nestlé Nutrition Institute shares leading science based information and education with health professionals, scientists and nutrition communities in an interactive way.”
Nestlé's research has been the source of controversial information spread by the corporation to promote the use of formula instead of breastfeeding by mothers in developing nations. Critics point to these efforts as a contributing factor to widespread malnutrition and high numbers of infant fatalities.
According to a study by the Center for Food Safety, Nestlé teams up with professional health organizations to give its research more credibility and control the debate. And example of this is in October 2012, Nestlé sponsored a new "Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight” with the American Academy of Pediatrics that “will translate emerging science into practical tools to help prevent and treat childhood obesity." Yet the study speculates as to whether the NNI research will show how breast feeding reduces the chances of childhood obesity or how marketing sugary foods to children translates to chronic illness.
NNI claims to be "world’s largest publisher of nutritional papers and journals", an effort to control the information available. It hosts workshops and symposia on new research and provides continuing education programs for healthcare professionals. The NNI provides grants to clinicians and scientists around the world, with the exception of the United States.
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Related Sourcewatch Articles
- Nestlé Nutrition Institute, About Us, organization website, accessed June 6, 2013.
- Jill Krasny, Every Parent Should Know The Scandalous History Of Infant Formula, Business Insider, June 25, 2012.
- Michele Simon, The Best Public Relations Money Can Buy, Center for Food Safety report, May 2013.