Academics and child experts to ask Barnardos to drop Danone as sponsor of 'Big Toddle'

Academics and child experts to ask Barnardos to drop Danone as sponsor of 'Big Toddle'

Barnardos will be asked to drop Danone as sponsor of its 'Big Toddle' by a group of academics and child experts, who claim the involvement of a breast-milk substitute manufacturer breaches the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

The successful Big Toddle for Barnardos is a half-mile sponsored walk for children under five, with the funds raised ploughed back into the charity's Early Years work.

However, in the letter to be sent to the charity, the group of health professionals and researchers appealed to Barnardos to change sponsor, claiming: "this sponsorship arrangement with Danone is at odds with the underlying ethos of Barnardos."

Signatories to the letter include Claire Allcutt, Vice-Chair of the Baby Feeding Law Group Ireland, Helen Cawley, Director of the First Steps Nutrition Trust, Marita Hennessy of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, and Margaret Murphy, Lecturer in Midwifery at University College Cork.

According to the letter: "The ongoing sponsorship of The Big Toddle for Barnardos by a breast-milk substitute manufacturer breaches The WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

"Barnardos, UK has never accepted corporate sponsorship for the Big Toddle event.

"It is also inconsistent with the work which your patron, Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland and his wife Sabina have been doing to support breastfeeding," it said.

The letter is also being issued to Áras an Uachtaráin and to others, including celebrity chef, Donal Skehan, who helped launch this year's event last April.

In the letter to Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly, the writers said: "We are aware that concerns about overt marketing of an infant formula brand have been brought to the attention of Barnardos Ireland previously.

We now wish to appeal to you in your role as the new CEO, to reconsider this sponsorship since parents’ and society’s confidence in breastfeeding is undermined by the promotion of breast-milk substitutes.

A spokesperson for Barnardos said: "We are not able to comment because we haven’t received a letter."

According to Barnardos, since the event began nearly half a million toddlers have toddled 250,000 miles to raise funds for vulnerable children their own age.

More on this topic

Billy Connolly shares update on Parkinson’s diseaseBilly Connolly shares update on Parkinson’s disease

Johnson & Johnson in $4bn opioid offerJohnson & Johnson in $4bn opioid offer

Zero-rated tax remains for some foodsZero-rated tax remains for some foods

TTM health staff recruitment firm in €2.3m profitTTM health staff recruitment firm in €2.3m profit


More in this Section

Barrister likens case to a 'Netflix movie' after man denies accident claim is a 'massive fraud'Barrister likens case to a 'Netflix movie' after man denies accident claim is a 'massive fraud'

DUP accuses Boris Johnson of losing his nerveDUP accuses Boris Johnson of losing his nerve

Agriculture Department staff suffered 'abusive and intimidating behaviour' from protestersAgriculture Department staff suffered 'abusive and intimidating behaviour' from protesters

Student appeared 'upset and in a state of shock', nurse tells rape trial Student appeared 'upset and in a state of shock', nurse tells rape trial


Lifestyle

Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner