September 20th, 2013
Ban advertising of infant formula, UNICEF urges Gov't
Dr Kenneth Russell, quality education specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is calling for a ban on advertising breastfeeding formula and other substitutes, which, according to him, have contributed to poor breastfeeding habits among mothers in Jamaica. Speaking with The Gleaner following a media forum for Infant and Young Child Feeding Principles and Practices at the Pan American Health Organization offices on Wednesday, Russell said Jamaica has been in breach of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which prohibits the advertising of infant formula, for many years.
“The code is clear. It says no marketing. Full stop,” he declared. “It is in violation of the code, and if you look in the newspapers, you see ways in which these manufacturers, over the years, have tried to get around it.”
The code is an international health-policy framework for breastfeeding promotion adopted by the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in 1981, which was developed as a global public-health strategy and recommends restrictions on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.