British children’s author Sean Taylor, winner of the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize 2007, refused to accept a check as part of his recent award, presented in December. Taylor, who won the prize for his book When a Monster is Born, said that he could not accept the money because of his concerns over the marketing tactics used by Nestlé in their promotion of infant formula.
In an open letter explaining his decision, Taylor said that he was honored to have won the prize because it is awarded on the basis of children’s votes, but he could not accept Nestlé’s money because “their interpretation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes sets up the risk that profit is put before infant health.” After examining their baby formula marketing practices, Taylor said, “I do not feel that Nestlé are the most appropriate sponsors for this major children’s book prize.”
A global marketing report recently released by the International Baby Food Action Network found that Nestlé is the leading violator of the International Code for the Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.
Taylor made his decision after consulting with representatives from Nestlé, anti- Nestlé group Baby Milk Action, and an unnamed third party with “experience in the field.”