WHO, Civil society organizations urge compliance with Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes

GLOBAL – In order to help ensure that all infants and young children worldwide are optimally breastfed and eat a healthy diet, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other civil society organizations have made a Call to Action to all manufacturers of breast milk substitute (BMS).

The invitation appeals to all manufacturers of breastmilk substitutes to make a public commitment to and achieve full compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and all its subsequent resolutions (the Code) by 2030.

It also calls to committing to support the adoption and implementation of national legislation fully aligned with the Code in order to create a level playing field for all companies.

In addition, manufacturers are urged to agree to provide information on their company’s policies and practices to the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) as requested, recognizing ATNI as an independent actor responsible for monitoring companies’ progress toward their plans for achieving Code compliance.

Nestle, one of the world’s leading infant formula manufacturer has welcomed the call stating, “We share the common goal of working together to ensure breastfeeding and optimal nutrition for all mothers, infants and young children worldwide.”

“We also share the Call to Action’s ambition of full Code compliance by industry and the implementation of the Code globally by 2030. We are reviewing the Call to Action and will publish our response soon,” stated the company

The multinational company indicated that it complies with the Code and relevant resolutions of World Health Assembly (WHA) as implemented by national governments everywhere in the world, as a minimum.

“Nestlé welcomes fair feedback from stakeholders that helps us to continuously improve. We highly respect the role that WHO, UNICEF and civil society organizations have played in advancing this issue,” highlighted the company.

Nestlé is committed to lead the way and encourages all stakeholders to work together to achieve this important goal.

“Our response will reflect our commitment to improving the health of mothers and children across the world and we look forward to engaging in this important work,” concluded Nestle.

Nearly 40 years ago, the World Health Assembly adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes to prevent the inappropriate and misleading marketing of baby formula, toddler (or growing-up) milks and other breastmilk substitutes, so that women could make decisions regarding breastfeeding based on sound information without undue and misleading influence.

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