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Thursday, March 17, 2011

INFACT Canada: Fed up with Formula Promotion

INFACT Canada sent out two updates this week- both about infant formula promotion.

Are you fed up with formula promotions?

Let the Minister of Health know that you want Health Canada to support mothers to breastfeed without commercial intervention.
Let the Minister of Health know that formula promotions threaten mother and infant/child health.
Let the Minister know that you want all formula promotions to stop; that formula promotions mislead and falsely claim to have attributes similar to breastmilk; that formula promotions undermine breastfeeding and are purposely targeted at pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
Let the Minister of Health know that when Canada endorses the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and all the World Health Assembly resolutions on infant and young child nutrition, we expect these protective measures to be implemented in Canada. Canadian mothers, babies and families deserve supportive environments to enable all mothers to nourish their children optimally.
Let the Minister know that breastfeeding is normal and should be the fundamental principle for all policies relating to maternal and child health.
Let her know that Canada’s breastfeeding rates remain far from optimal; that the exclusive breastfeeding rate for the first six months is just over 16% (Canadian Perinatal Health Report, 2008). How is it that 84% of mothers fall short of Health Canada’s recommendations for infant feeding?
Let the Minister know that mother’s health and children’s growth, development and health are far more important that the profit interests of the infant formula companies. Formula industries should be held accountable, financially and morally, for the increased deaths, illness and chronic diseases linked to formula feeding.
Let the Minister know that the costs of the increased hospitalizations, the increased need for medical interventions, the increased costs of the cancers, diabetes, obesity, and the cardiovascular diseases are in the billions annually when children are not breastfed.

Let her know that you want her to STOP ALL FORMULA PROMOTIONS!

Write To:

Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health:

CC To:

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EU opposes misleading and deceptive health claims for infant formula and baby foods

INFACT Canada congratulates our partner group the UK-based Baby Milk Action and is pleased to have been able to support its work to inform and lobby the European Parliamentarians to oppose the misleading claims made by the infant formula/baby food industries.

European Parliamentarians oppose bogus baby food health claim

March 16, 2011 - Brussels
Members of the European Parliament have moved to block a baby food company from using a health claim on labels of follow-on formula.
The European Parliament’s committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) today voted to stop the claim that DHA, a long-chain fatty acid found in breastmilk, when added to follow-on formulas and baby foods improves babies’ vision. A Resolution will now go to the full Plenary in Strasbourg in April and if it is passed there, the claim will not be allowed in EU countries from 2012, or on exports from the EU. Baby Milk Action is lodging an official complaint about misinformation put out by the European Commission in trying to influence the votes of MEPs.
This is first time since the 2006 European Health and Nutrition Claims Regulations came into effect that MEPS have used their right to block a claim and the news was greeted with huge relief by thousands of health professionals and public health campaigners both in the EU and globally who have been fighting to protect parents rights to truly independent information about infant feeding.
Socialist MEP Glenis Willmott, Co-Chair of the Health Working Group, who led the MEPs veto said: “The European Parliament delegated the power to make decisions about infant feeding to the Commission and a specialist committee, which meets behind closed doors. However MEPs have an important role to play in scrutinising these decisions as this claim shows. Independent studies say there is no proven link between artificially added DHA and eyesight, and some studies have found possible negative effects of DHA supplementation. As the scientific evidence is still inconclusive, we cannot allow parents to be misled. Babies’ health is too important to be left in the hands of a multinational company’s marketing department.”
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Elisabeth Sterken
Director INFACT Canada