Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Expert calls for Formula Marketing Watchdog

A respected neonatologist has called for the establishment of a body to police the implementation on the International Code on the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. Professor Stewart Forsyth, whose research into infant feeding in Dundee found breastfeeding can reduce inequalities in child health, made the plea in an article for the Archive of Diseases in Childhood.

This seems to me to be an extremely good idea. He is right that the formula milk industry claims that it's abiding by the code, while organisations like Baby Milk Action are continually finding evidence of breaches. There is nobody who looks at the evidence and ensures that the Code is enforced.

It's important that parents across the world are given accurate information about the choices they make with regard to how they feed their babies. It's in everybody's interests to ensure that the International Code is adhered to by formula manufacturers.

I hope that our guy in the Department of Health, Paul Burstow, pursues this. I also read this morning on Helen Duffett's Facebook page that Nick Clegg will be speaking on the Monday of our Conference because he's heading off to the UN. What a good opportunity that would be to pursue this with other Governments and save the 1.5 million lives that are lost every year through unsafe formula feeding across the World.

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