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WHO chief calls for stern control in formula milk trades

Geneva, Jun 22 (Prensa Latina) The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called for stricter regulations to prevent companies that manufacture and market milk formulas from putting their interests before the health of children and families.

WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom explained that one of major risk factors for non-communicable diseases is poor nutrition, especially in the early stages of life.

He assured inadequate nutrition also increases the possibility of childhood obesity, sudden and unexplained child death, leukemia, diabetes and maternal cancers.

These proven facts were discussed at the 1st Global Congress on the Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, organized by WHO and the UN Children’s Fund (FAO) in Geneva, Switzerland. During the event, delegates from around 130 countries will discuss and share knowledge and strategies to end the unethical marketing of breast-milk substitutes.

Delegates focused their attention on how to stop the unethical marketing of breast milk substitutes or breast milk substitutes, taking into account the central role breast milk plays in the health of mothers and babies, and the negative impact of its aggressive and inappropriate sale.

Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition and Food Safety at WHO, recalled that the code approved in 1981 indicates that no marketing of milk formulas should be done. Yet forms of marketing have been since then identified that should be discouraged with new legislation.

“Over 70% of Member States have enacted legislation that puts in place at least some of the provisions of the Code,” said Dr Francesco Branca. “But industries are still expanding to push an ever-increasing range of formula milk products on families, using insidious tactics to access their networks and influence their choices. Parents have the right to impartial information on infant feeding, which is actively undermined by exploitative industry marketing.”