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International code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes

(14 Posts)
hazelnutjam Sat 12-Dec-15 20:13:29

I saw that a well-known formula brand in the UK is offering freebies to pregnant women if they join their 'club'. This violates the code and I wondered if anyone knows who I can bring this to the attention of. Tia.

comeagainforbigfudge Sat 12-Dec-15 20:16:35

I don't know for sure but maybe these people

They might direct you to right person if not

dementedpixie Sat 12-Dec-15 20:21:37

Surely it's ok if they aren't giving free first stage milk samples

tiktok Sat 12-Dec-15 20:36:32

It is against the WHO code if it is food intended for any infant under the age of two - free samples are forbidden.

The UK law is different from the code. Under the UK law samples of infant formula (formula for babies under six months) are forbidden unless the donor agrees to continue the free samples for the whole of the first year.

I would be astonished if any formula brand in the UK is offering samples of formula of any kind to pregnant women - do you have a link?

tiktok Sat 12-Dec-15 20:37:54

Advertising Standards people would not help, BTW (comeagain's link).

tiktok Sat 12-Dec-15 20:39:25

hazelnutjam, if this is actually happening, then it's Trading Standards you want - they police the application of this law www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3521/contents/made

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 12-Dec-15 21:03:03

OP I'm wondering why this bothers you so much? I doubt very much it's first milk they are offering, but even if they are, for e of us it's just not possible to BF anymore, so why shouldn't we take advantage of help with the costs of FF? What exactly does it have to do with you?! confused

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 12-Dec-15 21:03:47

for some of us even, tiny phone screen keyboard! grin

gamerchick Sat 12-Dec-15 21:23:20

First stage formula should always have mega strict controls on them when it comes to formula. Can you imagine the price wars if they were allowed to advertise? confused

Ughnotagain Sat 12-Dec-15 21:34:22

Is it the Cow & Gate club, or the Aptamil one? The ones that offer free cuddly toys?

I was of the understanding that if they're not offering milk samples or coupons then they're on safe ground. (I, shamefully, signed up for toys despite intending to breastfeed. Never bloody got them though!)

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sat 12-Dec-15 21:36:51

Tje cow and gate club gives you a 50p off follow on milk coupon, breaking no rules whatsoever

tiktok Sat 12-Dec-15 23:50:56

Ah, you said 'freebies', OP, I realise, not 'free samples'.

'Freebies' in the form of various bits of cheap tat ( trinkets, toys, post it notes etc) or money off vouchers for follow on are not at all new.

It's not against the uk law, but of course it is against the WHO code, which proscribes unethical marketing.

tiktok Sat 12-Dec-15 23:54:11

The cheap tat and the money-off vouchers keep the marketing budget higher than otherwise and contribute to the artificially high price of formula.

Most parents who use formula would prefer permanently low prices, which is not proscribed by the WHO code or the UK law.

I won't be holding my breath on that one, of course.

hazelnutjam Sun 13-Dec-15 11:07:14

Great, thanks tiktok, i'll take a look at www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3521/contents/made.

Yes, it is cheap tat they are offering. I am familiarising myself with the code and in the process came across this potential violation so wondered what the process for raising it might be.

I understand that UK law doesn't prohibit Danone, Nestle etc. to engage with pregnant women by means of offering 'gifts', however it is against the international code so I thought it might be worth taking note.

"OP I'm wondering why this bothers you so much? I doubt very much it's first milk they are offering, but even if they are, for e of us it's just not possible to BF anymore, so why shouldn't we take advantage of help with the costs of FF? What exactly does it have to do with you?!"

Not sure why, after reading my op, you think it is "bothering me so much". There is an international code for very sound reasons (data shows that wherever the code is only lightly adhered to, BF rates takes plunge) and it can only be effective if breaches are monitored. Raising a violation of the code is not so much about people who choose not to BF or for whom BF is not appropriate but about monitoring inappropriate marketing practices of private firms whose primary target is to make profit. Believe me Freakin my op is not a dig at people who ff, which would be pointless and unkind.

www.who.int/nutrition/publications/code_english.pdf for whoever might be interested. The code came about as a result of negotiations between international paediatricians, WHO, Unicef, and food industry. It was an attempt to control the unethical marketing practices of Nestle and the likes in low-income countries. Introducing formula to developing countries resulted (and still does) in increased child mortality.

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