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Infant Formula Ad Breaches Code

Press release Women’s Health Action 10 July 2006

Nutricia admits they breached the Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. An advertisement placed in the Australian Women’s Weekly advertising infant formula was spotted by Louise James our Breastfeeding Advocate.

In a letter to the Ministry of Health, who deals with complaints James wrote “Stating that infant formula can be started from birth and that one may breastfeed and bottle feed at the same time is in serious breach of the Code.”

Through the self-regulatory process Stephanie Shennan, Marketing Manager for Nutricia New Zealand, responded “We acknowledge the concerns raised by the complainant…Nutricia immediately withdrew the advertisement from all media schedules”.

This blatant disregard for making sure the Code is adhered to, shows the weak implementation of the Code in New Zealand and how industry gets away with breaches.

The advertising & marketing of infant formula is prohibited by the Code and yet it continues to be promoted in a country that can’t see past self-regulatory processes. Self-regulatory processes rely on ‘Code watchers’ & close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Women’s Health Action wants to see the government make the International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and all relevant World Health Assembly resolutions law in New Zealand.


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