Who, what, why?

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Baby Milk Action

Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organisation which aims to save infant lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. We work as part of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) to strengthen independent, transparent and effective controls on the marketing of the baby feeding industry. IBFAN has over 200 member organisations in more than 100 countries.


Baby Feeding Law Group

Baby Milk Action is the Secretariat for the Baby Feeding Law Group which is working to bring UK legislation into line with UN Resolutions. BFLG members include consumer and mother-support groups and professional bodies such as the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors’ Association, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and UNICEF's Baby Friendly Initiative.


International Code

We work for controls implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (The International Code). This Code was adopted in 1981 by the World Health Assembly (WHA), the world’s highest policy setting body. The International Code bans all promotion of breastmilk substitutes and was adopted as a ‘minimum requirement’ to be implemented by member states ‘in its entirety’.

The International Code and the subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions, which have clarified or extended certain provisions of the Code, must be considered together in the interpretation and translation into national measures.


Protecting breastfeeding

There is no food more locally produced or sustainable than breastmilk. A breastfed child is less likely to suffer from gastroenteritis, respiratory and ear infections, diabetes, allergies and other illnesses. In areas with unsafe water a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea. Reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1.5 million lives around the world every year. Breastfeeding helps fulfill the UN Millennium Development Goals and has the potential to reduce under-5 mortality by 13%. A further 6% of deaths could be saved through appropriate complementary feeding. Breastfeeding also provides health benefits to the mother, such as reduced risk of some cancers.


Protecting babies fed on formula 

Breastmilk substitutes are legitimate products for when a child is not breastfed and does not have access to expressed or donor breastmilk. Baby Milk Action lobbies for regulations which ensure that their composition and labelling is as safe as possible.

Companies should comply with all the International Code requirements to reduce risks - independently of government measures. Parents have a right to accurate, independent information.


Contact details

34 Trumpington St, Cambridge, CB2 1QY, UK

Tel: (01223) 464420 Fax: (01223) 464417


Baby Milk Action is funded by membership (£18 waged, £7 unwaged, £25 family, and organisation affiliations), donations and merchandise sales.

We receive grants from CAFOD, The Network for Social Change, Oxfam, Save the Children, SCIAF, S E Franklin Deceased Charity, The United Reformed Church.

Update 42 was written by Mike Brady and Patti Rundall. Update is free to members and affiliates.

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