Presentation Information

Juanita Jauer Steichen

What’s New With The International Code On The Marketing Of Breast Milk Substitutes: It’s Not Just About Formula!

Abstract:

The International Code on the Marketing of breast milk substitutes is the very cornerstone of breastfeeding protection, promotion and support, and an integral part of infant and young feeding policies around the world; yet it is often misunderstood or considered to be an out of date document with little relevance to breastfeeding issues today. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Code is updated regularly with additional resolutions voted at World Health Assemblies every two years, and covers far more than the marketing of breast milk substitutes in the first six months of life, but promotes optimal nutrition practices up to 36 months, and addresses conflict of interest with infant food companies. Indeed, the rapidly growing global market of breast milk substitutes, estimated at more than $70 billion in 2019, continues to undermine breastfeeding through its evermore aggressive and omnipresent marketing techniques, focused on parents, health professionals and health systems. The stakes are high – understanding and implementing the Code is an essential step towards ensuring optimal nutrition for infants and young children, whether breastfed or formula-fed.