Consideration 15 - UN Documents Regarding Infant Formulas

This is a group of Saanen goats. They are at a goat show. They are from one herd. This class shows the depth of a particular herd.

The UN requires that every can of Infant Formula sold in the world have the following statement written on its label. “Breast milk is best for infants and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy.”  Or similar statements.

Donald Trump tried to reduce these sentiments. See consideration 38.

Summary of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes

This Code seeks to protect and promote breastfeeding by ensuring the ethical marketing of breast milk substitutes by industry.

  • No advertising of these products (i.e., formula, bottles, nipples, pacifiers) to the public.
  • No free samples of these products to mothers.
  • No promotion of artificial feeding products in health care facilities, including the distribution of free or low-cost supplies.
  • No company representatives to advise mothers.
  • No gifts or personal samples to health workers.

  • No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants on the labels of products.
  • Information to health workers should be scientific and factual.
  • All information on artificial infant feeding, including the labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding, and the cost and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
  • Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies.
  • All products would be of a high quality and take account of the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used.
  • Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies.
  • All products would be of a high quality and take account of the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

Source: Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (2011b)

Another UN document

Formula is not an acceptable substitute for breastmilk because formula, at its best, only replaces most of the nutritional components of breast milk: it is just a food, whereas breast milk is a complex living nutritional fluid containing anti-bodies, enzymes, long chain fatty acids and hormones, many of which simply cannot be included in formula.  Furthermore, in the first few months, it is hard for the baby’s gut to absorb anything other than breastmilk. Even one feeding of formula or other foods can cause injuries to the gut, taking weeks for the baby to recover.

The major problems are the societal and commercial pressure to stop breastfeeding, including aggressive marketing and promotion by formula producers.  http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24824.html