Parents rights to independent informations - workshop in Ireland

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Protecting Families: Mothers require accurate, independent information on infant feeding.

14th June 2013

A workshop attended by 65 representatives from organisations and professional groups providing services to families and young children focused  on measures required to protect families in Ireland from inappropriate marketing of infant formula. This followed a new ruling voted in by the European Parliament this week. The new regulations will apply to the marketing of baby foods and formulas in all EU member states and ban the use of idealising images and text on labels of infant and follow-on formulas. 


Patti Rundall, OBE, Policy Director of Baby Milk Action, said: " The new rules are clearly an important step in the right direction and are long overdue. All parents want the best for their children - and if they are being bombarded with idealised promotion - which by definition is misleading - its almost impossible to make wise decisions.   All this should have disappeared 30 years ago when the World Health Assembly first took action of this issue, with the support of all EU countries" . Patti is co-chair of the International Body IBFAN. Her presentation at the Workshop in the Rotunda Hospital will include information on the experiences of the UK Baby Feeding Law Group in promoting changes in regulations on the marketing of infant formula.


Other International and Irish speakers included Mike Brady Campaigns and Networking Coordinator Baby Milk Action; Dr Genevieve Becker, infant feeding consultant and Dr Pat O Mahoney, Chief Specialist at the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. 


The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (1981), and the subsequent additional resolutions, were agreed by most of the countries of the World Health Assembly, including Ireland. The aim of the International Code is to: “contribute to the provision of 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, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution. “


Unfortunately families in Ireland may not be adequately protected by the International Code and the related Irish legislation. A group of individuals and stakeholders have organised this workshop to bring together interested organisations with a view to setting up a Baby Feeding Law Group for Ireland. The group will work to protect the health of all babies in Ireland by encouraging government commitment for practices which ensure adherence to the Code and the ending of marketing activities that commercialise infant and young child feeding, raise costs for parents, and undermine good health. 



CONTACTS: Audrey McVeigh, IBCLC 086 3495588

                        Claire Allcutt, IBCLC 087 2031919