CHEO cancels event sponsored by Nestlé and Mead Johnson.
When it came to our attention that the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) was hosting a Pediatric Nutrition Day with Nestle and Mead Johnson as its sponsors, INFACT Canada when into action. A letter was sent to CHEO’s CEO, Garry Cardiff, asking the hospital to cancel the sponsorship and we invited our INFACT members to do the same. The response was overwhelming and led to the hospital to cancel the event.
Luce Lavoie, CHEO’s Director of Public Relations said,
“If we were giving the perception of not being supportive of breastfeeding, that was not our intent. The event won’t take place. We remain committed to sharing the information that was going to be shared that day with dietitians. It’s an important mandate, and when we talked about our community partners, who we meant were the community dietitians.”
When asked if the hospital would consider Nestlé or Mead Johnson as sponsors in the future, Ms. Lavoie said,
“We did not view this as sponsorship. The companies offered to pay for breakfast and lunch.” She also added, “Obviously an interesting and important perspective was brought forward, and we will most certainly consider that perspective in the future.”
Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to write. This clearly shows how important the issue of corporate sponsorship is to so many parents, mothers and health care workers!