BSNA responds to World Health Organisation report ‘How marketing of formula milk influences our decisions on infant feeding’

BSNA members support breastfeeding as the best way to feed an infant as important for both mother and baby’s health and wellbeing. However, when parents are unable to -or choose not to- breastfeed, the only food recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a suitable and safe alternative to breastmilk is scientifically developed infant formula.

Access to scientific and evidence-based information on alternative feeding choices enables healthcare professionals to provide the best nutritional advice and parents and caregivers to make informed choices.

All parents should feel respected and supported in their decision on how to feed their baby.

The infant nutrition industry is highly regulated to ensure the quality, safety and appropriate communication of products for infants and young children. BSNA members respect and comply with the UK legislation and, above and beyond that, we have developed our own Industry Code. This demonstrates the infant nutrition industry’s commitment to the aims and principles of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes 1981 (WHO Code), as implemented within UK legislation.

Digital marketing is not new and is already covered by the WHO Code and national laws. In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority ensure advertising is appropriate and Trading Standards enforces national laws.

Manufacturers of infant and young child nutrition are working to actively raise ‎awareness of the WHO Code principles and applicable laws ‎through education and training, as well as monitoring independent websites to identify ‎regulatory and compliance issues.‎

BSNA members share a common goal with the WHO and national governments: that parents are supported with appropriate and up to date information to make informed decisions on caring for their babies.

We support their efforts to ensure that everyone in the digital landscape complies with national laws and regulations.

More information is available here