Author: Marita Kenrick

Friends of Breastfeeding Statement and Call to Action on the 40th Anniversary of the Adoption of the WHO Code on the Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes

Friends of Breastfeeding wishes the World Health Organisation Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes – a.k.a. ‘The Code’ – a very happy 40th birthday. We hope you’ll join us this week in celebrating its importance and achievements, and by nudging your local representatives for further action towards its full implementation in Ireland. Friends of Breastfeeding is fully committed to the values of the WHO Code – to protect breastfeeding, to protect all mothers and babies and to prevent aggressive marketing practices that can prevent mothers from meeting their own breastfeeding goals. This commitment is baked into our constitution as a core principle at the heart of the charity’s actions, and all of our activities and events are explicitly Code compliant. When the Code was first adopted on 21st May  1981 many of today’s breastfeeding mothers and their supporting partners were themselves babies (or not conceived). Yet the aim of the Code remains as relevant today as it was then: to ensure the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for all infants. The Code seeks to protect and support breastfeeding; and does this by ensuring the availability of impartial information, free from commercial influence, about breastmilk substitutes through the regulation of the marketing and promotion of these products. Why is The Code still so important? To maintain or increase profit, companies offering breastmilk substitutes need parents to formula feed...

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CALL TO ACTION: How to find your representative & a sample email

Step 1 Find the email details for your local representative on the Oireachtas site  https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/ If you don’t know your electoral area you can put your address into https://www.whoismytd.com/ and they’ll tell you.  Step 2 Tailor our draft email below. Include your address – so they know you are an important constituent. Dear [INSERT NAME], I am a constituent of yours and I am writing to you seeking your support with an issue that is of great importance to me. I would like to make you aware of the upcoming 40th anniversary of the adoption of the WHO Code of Marketing on Breast-milk Substitutes, which occurs on Friday 21st May 2021. The WHO Code aims to ensure the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for all infants. It does this by seeking to ensure the availability of impartial and adequate information about breastmilk substitutes through the regulation of the marketing and promotion of these products. These measures benefit all infants, irrespective of the way they are fed, by protecting consumers from predatory marketing practices and unverified claims related to infant nutrition products. The health of Irish infants is too important to be left to usual rules governing markets  and advertising. Ireland has adopted certain aspects of the WHO Code, primarily through the adoption of the European Communities (Infant Formulae and Follow-on Formulae) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 852 of 2007)....

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