Code Related

When the Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Formula Milk and Related Products and Foods for Infants and Young Children (HK Code) was by the Department of Health in Hong Kong in June 2017, ICDC pointed out its inherent weakness.  The HK Code is voluntary by nature and despite its extensive scope, it is unenforceable. There are no sanctions for non-compliance. Prompted by the recent Lactalis formula milk recall (1) in 83 countries, an open letter (2) published in the South China Morning Post reveals that even though the Hong Kong Code includes provisions requiring labels on infant formula for babies...

On 14 October 2017, the newspaper El Mercurio reported that Chile’s Comptroller’s Office has ordered the Undersecretary of Health, Jaime Burrows, to repay the expense on purchasing excessive milk formula (“starter formula”) for a pilot programme that distributes starter formula. According to a report from the Comptroller’s Office, 96,000 cans of starter formula were purchased in 2015 when only 9,000 were needed....

According to a report from the chinese Legal Weekly (11/7/2017) six employees from Nestlé China including the regional manager, have been convicted for illegally obtaining patients’ personal information from hospitals in Lan Zhou, capital of Gansu province. To gain market share, the employees also sent samples of baby formula to hospitals for the purpose of passing them on to parents of new-born babies, a practice forbidden by Chinese regulations. Bribed health workers served as intermediaries....

In June 2017, the regulatory body on free markets in Ecuador imposed a fine exceeding USD 157,000 on the local Nestlé branch. This sanction was imposed for the unauthorised use of the name and emblem of the Ministry of Health of Ecuador on a leaflet about breastmilk substitutes....

Instead of protecting breastfeeding and infant health, Singapore seems more concerned about a surge in formula prices. Just recently, a detailed investigation into formula milk prices by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) was widely reported in the media in Singapore . The report released by CCS called for a halt on aggressive marketing tactics of formula milks....

After years of lobbying efforts by breastfeeding advocates, the Hong Kong SAR Government has recently decided to revive the stalled marketing code that gives effect to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes ("Hong Kong Code"). The government plans to the Hong Kong Code into effect around mid-2017 after a lapse of 5 years and several rounds of consultations....

In October 2016, the Council of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) announced its decision to continue accepting funding from baby food companies to support their activities. This is despite a successful motion adopted at RCPCH’s 2016 AGM for the practice to cease. The decision by the Council of RCPCH, its formal decision making body, is a disappointment to many who look to the UK institution for leadership in matters affecting child health. It sets a bad example for other national health professional associations....