Opposition over uAlberta honorary degree for Nestlé CEO

February 13, 2012

The University of Alberta is drawing criticism over its decision to award an honorary degree to the CEO of controversial global food giant Nestlé Corporation, the world's largest producer of bottled water and promoter of water privatization. For years Nestlé has been under fire for the way it markets infant formula in Third World nations where mothers do not have access to clean water and literacy is low. Professors critical of the honorary degree warn that uAlberta's reputation in the global community could be harmed. uAlberta president Indira Samarasekera states in the institution's official blog that the honorary degree committee "gave great weight" to the fact that under Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe's leadership, the company was given the Stockholm Industry Water Award last year. He was chosen "in recognition of his emerging and growing role as a worldwide leader in resource management," the blog says. Edmonton Journal | uAlberta Blog