Top tip: you can bring all my past blogs on this topic together in one window with a search on 'Philippines'.
With powerful vested interests using all their influence through the courts and outside them to undermine the regulations so they continue the type of aggressive marketing exposed on our website, it is essential that the rest of the world take notice.
We have helped to gain coverage for this issue in the UK, the Philippines and elsewhere, while our partners in the Philippines have organised mass demonstrations and submitted papers to the Supreme Court, hearing the case.
Now we see that the Australian media is noticing the machinations of the baby food industry in the Philippines, with an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, including interviews with Ines Fernandez (from our partner organisation) and UNICEF Philippines.
Here is an extract from the full article: which relates the argument over regulations to the very real impact on infant feeding decisions and infant health amongst the T'boli tribes people in the remote hills of the Mindanao, in the southern Philippines.
The World Health Organisation estimates 16,000 babies a year die in the Philippines as a result of a decline in breastfeeding. Today, only 16 per cent of children at four to five months are exclusively breastfed, down from 25 per cent in 1998.
The international benchmark is for exclusive breastfeeding until six months and continuous breastfeeding until two years. "The aspiration [of the T'boli] was if they had money, they would buy the milk, because every night they see milk advertisements on television," said breastfeeding campaigner Ines Fernandez.
In a country where UNICEF estimates 20 to 30 per cent of children are malnourished, the organisation sees breastfeeding as an essential tool in the fight against disease. "Breastfeeding is a hallmark of child health. It's a magic bullet in child survival.
"There is an ocean of evidence now that you can prevent disease, surround the child in a hygienic cocoon," said Dale Rutstein, UNICEF's spokesman in Manila.
Ms Fernandez's civil society group, Arugaan, with the Philippines Department of Health, is locked in a legal battle with the powdered milk industry to tighten regulations on false advertising and distribution of infant formula.
The article explains about the efforts of the industry to stop the regulations and refers to the assassination in December of the government lawyer, Nestor Ballacillo, defending the case. No link is yet proven, though the Solicitor General has suggested there may be one.This coverage does not happen in isolation. There are paid avertisements that look like news articles, arguing that regulation is unnecessary. More on those soon.