ICDC’s Code monitoring is sustained by volunteers from around the world. Their contributions and whistle-blowing efforts enable us to keep up with latest company strategies and marketing trends.
We provide below selected examples of recent Code violations (yet unpublished anywhere else). The benchmarks are the minimum standards set by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions.
Everyone can monitor. And monitoring can be done anytime anywhere. Help us to call companies to account by submitting pictures of Code violations or practices which, in your view, undermine breastfeeding in your community.
We have a Quick & Easy Form you can use to convey the relevant information.
In May 2016, WHO published a report1 recommending that countries should broaden the range of designated products under the scope of their legislation to include all milk products intended and marketed as suitable for feeding young children up to the age of 36 months.
In the same month, the World Health Assembly in resolution WHA 69.9  welcomed the Guidance on ending the inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children2 which reaffirms that breastmilk substitutes should be understood to include any milks that are specifically marketed for the feeding of infants and young children up to the age of 36 months including follow-up formula and growing-up milk.
With these affirmative statements and recommendations, it becomes clear that follow-up milks and growing milks are covered by the scope of the Code; something that IBFAN has maintained all along and which industry disputes.
Many of the marketing practices reported here date back from before the Guidance was issued but there is nothing to show that industry will pay any heed to the Guidance. Violations submitted to IBFAN-ICDC post Guidance will be indicated as such on this website.
In May 2016, the World Health Assembly in resolution WHA 69.9  welcomed the Guidance on ending the inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children. The Guidance applies to all commercially produced foods that are marketed as being suitable for infants and young children from the age of 6 months to 36 months – products that are commonly defined as complementary foods in national laws and policies.
We provide below links to different types of inappropriate promotion (yet unpublished anywhere else) that companies engage in so readers can see how companies market their products in ways that are detrimental to infant and young child health. Each entry is the result of voluntary monitoring conducted by our supporters from different parts of the
world. The Guidance’s recommendations relating to promotion of foods for infants and young children are reproduced in each section of this report.
They Made a Difference
On this monitoring page, ICDC is privileged to feature two of ICDC’s best volunteer monitors, Rosemary Anatol and Danielle Adams of the Breastfeeding Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TBATT).
Outstanding monitors. Rosemary (Left)- mother of three children – all breastfed and Danielle (Right)– mother of four children – all breastfed
Rosemary, IBCLC and member of TBATT since 1987, headed the Association for 20 years and now is Advisor. After years of correspondence with companies about violations, Rosemary got to attend a Training Course on the Code in 2002. The weeklong training Course, sponsored by UNICEF, enabled Rosemary to studying all aspects of the Code in detail and started her on another 17 years of commitment to advocacy and education for Code compliance and monitoring for violations.
Danielle, member of TBATT since 2003, is now a Director and Code Compliance Officer. Even before she was aware of the Code, Danielle had questioned why a doctor would have a tin of infant formula on a shelf in his office and this was the trigger for her to learn about the Code. In November 2003, IBFAN-ICDC, UNICEF and PAHO jointly conducted a Regional Code training in Trinidad and Tobago. TBATT was the local partner. Although only recently qualified as a breastfeeding counsellor and with a young baby, Danielle grabbed at the opportunity to participate in the Code training, together with her baby, whom she breastfed during the course! Danielle has not looked back since then!
Rosemary and Danielle have served on the National Breastfeeding Committee and have been involved in policy development and BFHI training. Both are passionate in educating others and have spoken on the importance of the Code in many different forums, especially facilitating training on the Code for health workers.
TBATT fulfils a role as the watchdog for Code Compliance in Trinidad and Tobago and Rosemary and Danielle have formed a great team. Their combined efforts have covered 25 years of code monitoring – that has included monitoring of retail outlets, media advertising and the health sector, for compliance and reporting violations – raising code issues/violations with many Ministers of Health, Government Ministries, correspondence to companies, supermarkets, publishers, media houses, professional associations, drawing attention to violations and reporting these locally and also internationally. In 2015 the Minister of Health announced that there is to be full compliance with the Code in all health facilities.
Rosemary and Danielle will continue their monitoring to keep the companies on their toes and to continue to advocate for legislation on The Code.