COMMISSION WORKING DOCUMENT CONSULTATION ON THE FUTURE "EU 2020" STRATEGY
Comments by Baby Milk Action/IBFAN January 15th 2010
Baby Milk Action welcomes the opportunity to comment on the important issues raised in this Consultation.
As members of the global network, the International Baby Food Action Network, we have worked for over 30 years to protect infant and young child health through the strengthening of independent, transparent and effective controls on the marketing of the baby feeding industry. Since EU-Based companies control a large proportion of the global baby food market, EU policies have an important influence on infant health not only within the EU but globally.
Aware of the need for a global solution to the problem of inappropriate marketing, in 1981, the 34th WHA adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in the form of a recommendation. Member States were urged to translate it into national legislation, regulations or other suitable measures and to monitor compliance with it. The Code’s position is that commercial products should be available when needed, but should not be promoted. Resolution WHA34.22 by which the WHA adopted the Code stressed that adherence to it "is a minimum requirement and only one of several important actions required in order to protect healthy practices in respect of infant and young child feeding" The Code was not merely adopted as a recommendation for developing countries, but for the entire membership of WHO. All EU Member States are signatories to the Code and the the 13 subsequent WHA Resolutions which have strengthened and clarified it. All developed and developing countries have an obligation to give effect these provisions.
There is no food more locally produced or sustainable than breastmilk – and while breastfeeding is the optimal and natural way to feed all babies, globally reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save aproximately 1.5 million lives around the world every year. EU-based companies contribute to these avoidable deaths and the ill health of thousands more.
The Strategy must therefore to take account of the EU’s obligation to ensure a high level of human health and environmental protection in all Community policies and activities and ensure that the EU raises rather than lowers public health and human rights protection. As long as EU policies fail to meet even the UN minimum requirements, an imbalance inevitably will exist in all trading arrangements with countries with ‘stronger’ legislation.
If trade is to be used as a tool for development which can in turn alleviate poverty – a claim often made by companies and policy makers - these issues have to be addressed. In any case – trade considerations should never outweigh the EC’s commitment to protect health, the environment and human rights. Transparency, accountability and regulation to protect the most vulnerable in Europe and for ensuring an appropriate influence globally, are cornerstones for the delivery of a sound strategy for Europe.
With this in mind we recommend that the Strategy:
For more information
Baby Milk Action, 34 Trumpington St, Cambridge, CB2 1QY
Work Tel: 01223 464420, Mobile: 07786 523493, Fax: 01223 464417
www.babymilkaction.org www.ibfan.org www.babyfeedinglawgroup.org.uk
Breastmilk substitutes are legitimate products for when a child is not breastfed and does not have access to expressed or donor breastmilk. The International Code and other UN requirements, do not ban the sale of products, but protect all parents rights (those who breastfeed and those who decide to artificially feed) to accurate, independent information.
These obligations are wide ranging, but a specific concern of IBFAN is the need to control the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, baby foods and junk foods. This means strengthening EU legislation to incorporate all the recommendations of the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding, the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions, the Blueprint for Action on the Promotion, Protection and support of breastfeeding. the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
EUROPEAN PLATFORM ON DIET AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Short minutes "Workshop PPP's on governance" 21 October 2008 Luxembourg. Including NGOs and EU Member States, Ireland, Finland, Belgium. Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark.
|Baby Milk Action Marmot.doc||64 KB|
|BMA NICE Obesity2.doc||131.5 KB|
|BMA on 2020 Final.doc||40.5 KB|
|BMA PARNUTs Sep09.doc||47 KB|
|BMA Product Placement.doc||83 KB|
|DCSF report.pdf||1.58 MB|
|DSCF BMAc Submission.doc||133.5 KB|