Emraan Hashmi’s back in the news. This time, for an international film, Tigers, that’s released online. The film’s getting positive feedback, and Hashmi is being commended for picking up a role that showcases his acting chops spectacularly.
The film takes on the world’s biggest food & beverage company to expose their unfair trade practices. But wait, this isn’t a film review. Instead we want to talk about one of the biggest food scandals of the 20th century, that allegedly led to the death of thousands of babies.
Set in the 90s, the film traces the story of a salesperson-turned-
In the early 70s, a boycott movement was launched against the food giant, after it was accused of selling baby food formula as a substitute for breast milk in the United States. An investigative report, “The Baby Killer” by War On Want, an anti-poverty charity group exposed its aggressive marketing practices which were aimed to promote infant food formula. The ads asked mothers to switch to infant food.
These substitutes allegedly triggered an infection and malnutrition among babies which led to deaths in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Even hospitals and medical practitioners were accused of promoting infant food products. The movement garnered support from health activists and the civil society in the developing nations and many reports highlighting the benefits of mother’s milk were published.
But the company sued a German translator of War on Want’s exposé, which was published in Sweden in 1976, the company won the case even though the judge ordered the company to “modify its publicity methods fundamentally.” It also also blamed poor drinking water for causing deaths among infants.