Letters

Marketing of breast milk substitutes

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7154.350 (Published 01 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:350

Infant food manufacturers hope code will be implemented properly

  1. Sarah Jacobs, Executive secretary,
  2. Andrée Bronner, Secretary general
  1. Infant and Dietetic Foods Association, London WC2B 5JJ
  2. International Association of Infant Food Manufacturers, 75001 Paris, France
  3. Unit for Health Services Research and International Cooperation, Istituto per l'Infanzia, Via dell'Istria 65/1, 34100 Trieste, Ital
  4. Mayday University Hospital, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 7YE
  5. University Hospital of Lewisham, London SE13 6LH

    EDITOR—It is disappointing that the BMJ should give such prominence to Taylor's paper1as it is based on a report of the Interagency Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring that was first published 15 months ago. The paper is no more than a reworked presentation of less than 30% of the original document, some of which had already been reported in the journal.2

    The timing is also disappointing in view of the announcement by the World Health Organisation in January 1998 that it is to hold consultations on infant feeding, including an initiative to identify, examine, and overcome the main obstacles to implementing the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes in all countries. The infant food industry is happy to work with the WHO and others, but in the past the Interagency Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring has refused to meet with us and has repeatedly refused to provide the information that would allow companies to investigate the alleged contraventions.

    Taylor concludes that the survey methods used in this study were successful in detecting violations of the …

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