Health

April 21, 2024

In Nigeria, we do not add sugar in infant milks for babies

In Nigeria, we do not add sugar in infant milks for babies

By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna

Food and beverage company, Nestle Nigeria, has refuted the claims of an investigative report alleging that it (Nestle) was adding sugar to its infant milk and cereal products sold in Nigeria, in violation of global guidelines.

The investigation carried out by the Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organization, in collaboration with the International Baby Food Action Network, alleged that Nestle provides its best quality products to Europe and other developed nations but supplies substandard products to Nigeria and other low- and middle-income countries.

According to the investigation report, traces of sugar were found in samples of the company’s infant cereal for children between six months and two years old, and a follow-up milk formula for infants of up to 12 months of age.

 But in a position statement made available to Vanguard, Nestle’s Head of Corporate Communications, Victoria Uwadoka, said the company complies with global requirements on the usage of sugar and supplies quality products to every part of the world.

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 “Baby food and infant formula are highly regulated categories. Like everywhere in the world, in Nigeria, we do not add sugars (sucrose and glucose) to infant formulas for children aged 0-12 months. 

“We apply the same nutrition, health, and wellness principles everywhere in the world which are aligned with both international and local guidelines and regulations. This includes compliance with labeling requirements and thresholds on carbohydrate content that encompasses sugars.”

Uwadoka stated that regarding cereals, there may be slight variations in recipes around the world.

“In Europe, Nestle’s range of cereals comes with and without added sugars. Like everywhere in the world, in Nigeria, we do not add sugars (sucrose and glucose) to Infant formula for children aged 0-12 months. In Nigeria, our Growing Up Milks have no added sugars.

“ Our milks and cereals for young children are fortified with vitamins and minerals such as iron to help tackle malnutrition,” she remarked.