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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     May Theme: "Roots"     Volume 1 Issue 4     ISSN# 1708-3265

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Stop the Promotion of Bottles.

by Heather Coleman

Help me STOP the PROMOTION OF BABY BOTTLES, by sending your letters to TD Canada Trust® and forwarding this email to as many Mothers, Fathers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Uncles and others who support breastfeeding ASAP.

Currently, TD Canada Trust® is running an ad campaign featuring baby bottles which are labelled 'family'. The ad appears in magazines, on the TD Canada Trust® website and in the branches as posters, which are sometimes 5 or 6 feet tall. To see the image on the website, go to click here Be advised however, the image on the website is not labelled as the ones in the branch and magazine ads are. The shelves of the cupboard in these images are labelled 'couple', 'single' and 'family' (the shelf with the bottles is the 'family' shelf).

This ad campaign is in direct violation of the WHO code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes. With the help of INFACT Canada, I have composed a letter for use as a form letter in a letter writing campaign to urge the bank to remove the posters and images from their banking institutions and website as quickly as possible. For more information on INFACT Canada click here.


Please help the MILLIONS of women who struggle daily to justify their decision to breastfeed, the millions of unborn babies whose mothers will look at these posters before deciding to breastfeed, by sending a letter to BOTH the Senior Manager of Marketing Planning and the TD Ombudsman for your region. I have included regular mail addresses, as well as an email address for the Ombudsman. If you'd like, include your contact information, and request a reply, in hopes that TD Canada Trust® will contact you in regard to your letters. If you are contacted, please let INFACT Canada know, as I promised I would, by emailing Rachel Sterken.

If you are a customer of TD Canada Trust®, please feel free to add this in to the bottom of your letter:

As a customer of TD Canada Trust, I am appalled to learn that the monthly fees I pay on my bank account have contributed to marketing the fine services of the bank in such a blatantly irresponsible manner. I find the images on the posters to be offensive, hurtful, and not representative of family life whatsoever.

Also, feel free to change the letter to suit your needs or compose your own letter. And please, sign your letters with your name. This is a real cause, and one which needs help. Remember to help it grow by forwarding this message to as many people as you can.

Thank you very much for your help!
Heather Coleman

Please address your letters to:

TD Ombudsman
P.O. Box 1
Toronto-Dominion Centre
Toronto, Ontario
M5K 1A2




Dave Lowrey
Senior Manager Marketing Planning
TD Bank Financial Group
66 Wellington Street West, 18th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5K 1A2

Here is the letter:

Dear TD Canada Trust:

It has come to my attention the latest TD Canada Trust promotional campaign is in violation of the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and may be putting infants and young children at risk. I am referring to the 'Life Changes' advertising poster which has appeared in the media, in your branches, and on your website. In the picture, the shelves of the kitchen cupboard are marked 'single', 'couple', and 'family'. The family shelf is filled with baby bottles. While I understand the intent of the advertising, the underlying message given to every customer who sees this poster is having a baby means formula feeding. The fact the marketing campaign has used the baby bottle as an icon of family; instills in the mind of the viewer formula feeding is pure, innocent, acceptable, normal, and an important part of family life (not to mention a single parent can also have a baby and be a family!).

Women such as myself face a daily battle to assert ourselves and justify our decision to breastfeed our children, even though scientific evidence strongly favours our decision. We are forced to hang our heads in shame while breastfeeding, at times hiding our children under blankets and robes. People glare at us, stare at us, look away from us, and bombard us with questions and opinions.

Please understand, this is not an issue of consumer choice, but rather a serious health concern for Canadian babies. The WHO Code was developed because the idealization of formula feeding can influence the decision to breastfeed. By idealizing the icon of the baby bottle, and labelling it as family, TD Canada Trust is in direct violation of this code.

Infant feeding choices have dramatic, life-long health impacts. Formula-fed babies are at increased risk of childhood cancer, asthma, ear and respiratory infections, allergies, diabetes, and gastrointestinal infections. Formula-fed babies also score lower on intelligence and vocabulary tests than their breastfed counterparts. As formula-fed babies grow into adults, they are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity. While it is true formula fed babies will survive, it is very true a breastfed baby has a much greater chance of lifelong health. On a global scale, the decision to breastfeed is a matter of life or death. The World Health Organization estimates 1.5 million children die every year because they are not breastfed.

I understand you have already been supplied with a copy of 'Complying with the Code? A Manufacturers' and Distributors' Guide to the Code' and 'Fourteen Risks of Formula Feeding', by INFACT Canada. I would also refer you to the World Health Organization's website (www.who.int/nut/documents/code_english.PDF) for the complete text of the 'International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes' and subsequent relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly.

As a responsible corporation, with a well-respected reputation for taking the lead in social justice issues in this country, I am quite sure you would not knowingly place Canadian infants at risk. I therefore urge you to remove this poster display from your banks and from the TD Canada Trust website as quickly as possible.


Heather Coleman is a work at home mother with her own cloth diaper company, Sage Mama Designs. Her company is not currently online because she sells her wares at the local farmers market. She lives beside the Speed River in scenic Guelph, Ontario with her life partner Bret and their son Sage. Heather is a strong believer in attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and natural family living.

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