Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Experts call for tighter regulation of baby formula marketing

Please watch this excellent interview with Julie Smith. But first:

  • Remember that regulation of infant formula advetising and marketing is NOT a criticism of mothers who cannot breastfeed.
  • Marketing of formula to women who are breastfeeding is a known factor in premature weaning.
  • There is very little difference in composition between different brands of formula. Most are much the same.
  • Advertising of infant formula for babies under 12 months is not allowed. Toddler formula was introduced as soon as that regulation came into place.
  • Previously, the cut off for advertising was six months. Follow on formula, suitable from six months, was swiftly invented.
  • Most health professionals do not encourage the use of formula of any kind beyond 12 months.
  • Formula companies promote toddler formula as an aid to brand awareness, not because children need them. 
  • As well as toddler products, we are now seeing some labelled for pre-school aged children. 
  • Most toddler formula companies use marketing such as clubs, websites, taste testing (at baby expos), balloons, showbags etc to encourage and maintain brand loyalty.
  • Multinational companies marketing formula around the world adapt their products and marketing to fit within the regulations in each company. Where it is legal to do so, aggressive marketing commences in pregnancy. 
Now watch the story. 

Experts call for tighter regulation of baby formula marketing

If you were not able to meet your own breastfeeding goals or chose not to breastfeed, please understand that calls for regulation are not a criticism - indeed, it is you and your baby who are the potential targets of more aggressive advertising and marketing. Consider how much of your family budget you spend on infant formula and ask yourself who would profit from you continuing to use it beyond the first year?

(This link is to an Australian TV website and is probably not available outside our country. If I can get hold of a transcript or report I will share it here.)

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