Experts call for clampdowns on exploitative formula milk marketing

Explaining how formula milk marketing exploits the lack of support for breastfeeding by governments and society

The formula milk industry’s marketing tactics are exploitative and urgent clampdowns are needed to tackle misleading claims and political interference, according to a new three-paper series published in The Lancet recently.

Industry influence – which includes lobbying against vital breastfeeding support measures – seriously jeopardises the health and rights of women and children, the papers show.

“This new research highlights the vast economic and political power of the big formula milk companies, as well as serious public policy failures that prevent millions of women from breastfeeding their children,” said Professor Nigel Rollins, Scientist at WHO and author of a paper on formula milk marketing. “Actions are needed across different areas of society to better support mothers to breastfeed for as long as they want, alongside efforts to tackle exploitative formula milk marketing once and for all.”

The Lancet series further draws attention to the power of the milk formula industry to influence national political decisions and interfere with international regulatory processes. In particular, the dairy and formula milk industries have established a network of unaccountable trade associations and front groups that lobby against policy measures to protect breastfeeding or control the quality of infant formula.

Image credit- shutterstock

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