Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Goodhew: Revised Code of Practice for the Infant Formula

Jo Goodhew

21 February, 2013

Launch of the revised Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand

E aku rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa. Ka nui te honore ki te mihi ki a koutou.

Firstly, thanks to Jan Carey for the introduction and invitation for me to be part of today’s proceedings.

I am pleased to welcome you all here today, especially those who have travelled from Australia, for the launch of the Infant Nutrition Council’s revised Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand.

Since 1983, New Zealand has been a signatory to the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. The International Code aims for “safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, when these are necessary”.

Proper use of breast-milk substitutes means on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution, which is where the Code of Practice comes in.

As a signatory to the International Code, New Zealand is committed to protecting and promoting breastfeeding. Breastfeeding provides optimum nutrition for infants. It assists physical and emotional development, encourages emotional attachment between mother and baby, and offers protection against infectious and chronic diseases.

The Ministry of Health’s advice is that mothers who are able to do so should exclusively breastfeed their baby until their baby is ready for and needs extra food – which is usually at around six months of age. But although breast is best when you can, for mothers who are unable to or choose not to breastfeed, it is important there is good information and support for them on the proper use of breast-milk substitute.

The Infant Nutrition Council’s revised Code of Practice that I am launching today forms an integral part of New Zealand’s commitment to the International Code. It involves the voluntary agreement by leading members of the infant formula industry not to market infant formula for infants under six months of age to the general public in New Zealand. I commend the members of the Infant Nutrition Council for voluntarily making this commitment.

In situations where mothers have made an informed decision to use infant formula, the revised Code of Practice guides infant formula marketers on how to provide information and educational materials to health practitioners in an appropriate way.

With this commitment, the Infant Nutrition Council Code sets a high standard for industry practice, both nationally and internationally.

This high standard is important for supporting public health messages about the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies in New Zealand. Furthermore, the Code assists with ensuring responsible dissemination of scientific, factual and relevant information to health practitioners working in our healthcare system.

This high standard is also important for maintaining New Zealand’s reputation as an exporter of high quality food products that meet our own standards, as well as international expectations.

However, the infant formula industry in New Zealand is changing. More manufacturers and marketers of infant formula are emerging in New Zealand who are not members of the Infant Nutrition Council, and have not made a voluntary commitment to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.

I encourage you to work towards bridging the gap with members of the infant formula industry who do not belong to the INC, and who do not meet the industry standard. The changing nature of the infant formula industry presents a challenge for all of us, including the Infant Nutrition Council. Members of the Infant Nutrition Council are industry leaders.

The Government recognises the Infant Nutrition Council’s revised Code as an industry standard and expects all infant formula manufacturers and marketers in New Zealand to meet this standard. New Zealand is a small country with limited resources. Therefore, the Government thinks it makes sense for us to work together to establish and maintain a single, consistent industry standard, which all manufacturers and marketers of infant formula meet.

The Infant Nutrition Council has engaged with the Ministry of Health when revising its Code of Practice, and has demonstrated willingness and ability to work with Government. An example of this is in accepting a proposal from the Ministry of Health to strengthen the Code in relation to emergency situations and the management of infant formula, in situations where it is donated.

Emergencies often result in disruption to healthcare and other infrastructure. Access to food and safe water may be compromised. One recent example for New Zealanders is of course the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. This resulted in a State of National Emergency being declared, which remained in place for nine weeks. This experience has provided lessons for the Ministry of Health and other groups in how to better manage emergencies.

Emergency situations can be particularly disruptive for pregnant women and people caring for infants. It is important that appropriate processes and consistent advice is available for people who are feeding infants during an emergency. This applies to support for breastfeeding mothers, and to assistance for parents with babies who are bottle-fed.

The Infant Nutrition Council has recognised the importance of appropriate support for breastfed and bottle fed infants in emergency situations. National emergency preparedness plans will provide emergency relief, with donations going to a single designated health agency to control.

I am very pleased to have been able to join you to launch the Infant Nutrition Council’s revised Code of Practice today.

Going forward there will be challenges, but I strongly urge you to work together to ensure safe and adequate nutrition for all infants in New Zealand.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news