Smith Intervenes in EU Breast v Bottle Row

24 April 2009
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today (Friday) responded to concerns over the European election promotional material advert which features a baby's bottle.

Mr Smith is a long standing supporter of the breastfeeding alliance, and today supported their calls for the advert to be withdrawn.

Speaking from Strasbourg Mr Smith said:

"The advert is well intentioned, but I think we have got this wrong and it should be withdrawn. I have already contacted the Directorate General for Communications making this point.

"To be fair, the principal aim of the poster campaign is to raise awareness of the forthcoming European Parliament elections on 4 June. The poster in question has certainly done that! There is a range of posters depicting some of the issues voters might address in deciding who to vote for: some are on energy policy; others on consumer protection. The poster in this case deals with work/life balance.

"Having looked into this I have been informed that the image selected was designed to be inclusive of both women and men in the decisions that need to be taken on balancing work and family life.

"However, I must stress that this does not mean that the European Parliament has turned its back on breastfeeding; far from it. On a personal level, I have repeatedly emphasised the positive impact of breastfeeding, both in legislation passed at European level and in resolutions adopted by the Parliament over many years. Patti Rundall, Policy Director of Baby Milk Action, recently commended my efforts.

"It is a great shame that so many constituents evidently feel the poster has undermined any efforts, but this was by no means the intention. For my part, I did not see the poster until it was in a bus stop in Glasgow, and thought at the time that a baby bottle was apoor image to use."