Letters

Baby milk companies accused of breaching code

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7083.830a (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:830
  1. C M A Campbell, Clinical medical officera
  1. a Community Paediatric Department, Foyle Health and Social Services Trust, Bridgeview House, Londonderry
  2. b MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, University College London Medical School, London WC1N 1EH

    Code is often disregarded in the United Kingdom

    Editor-Violations of the World Health Organisation's code of marketing of breast milk substitutes by baby milk manufacturers have recently been reported from Thailand, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Poland.1 It is worth noting that the code is also frequently disregarded within the United Kingdom.

    Posters, parent information leaflets, and calendars marked with the trade names of baby milk companies are commonplace within health service premises; gifts such as pens and notebooks, with baby milk manufacturers' trade names and logos, are frequently presented to health workers. These provide tacit endorsement of the advertisers' products within the health service.

    The code requires that manufacturers' product information, including labels, should explain the benefits of breast feeding and the costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding. No more than a token attempt is made by any of the manufacturers to give this information to the public.

    There is now clear evidence that artificial feeding of infants is associated …

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