Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BFLG monitoring report May 2008

Many thanks to everyone who has submitted information on what baby food companies are up to in the UK to the monitoring project we coordinate for the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG).

As a new development, we are producing quarterly monitoring reports which are being submitted to the enforcement authories now that our new regulations and associated Guidance Notes have come into force.

You can download the report from the BFLG website at:

It profiles the main UK formula companies - and Nestlé which is trying to break into the market.

The cover shows the battle of the beasts - the cute animals used by companies to make their products the most appealing. Who would have thought that formula is a nutritional medicine?

The marketing practices shown in this report are restricted to those believed to be illegal under UK law. They are not necessarily the worst marketing practices in the UK as the law allows many practices that are violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly and are illegal in many other countries. (Earlier reports, such as Hard Sell Formula, give an overview of strategies).

Some of the practices we believe have been illegal since formula marketing regulations were first introduced in the UK in 1995. There has only been one prosecution in all this time - in 2003 for illegal infant formula advertising by Wyeth/SMA. Although convicted of a 'cynical and deliberate' breach of the regulations, similar advertisements continue to run.

Perhaps this will change now that there are new Regulations and Guidance Notes.

In three months time, if resources allow, we will produce another round up, showing what action has been taken, any resulting changes and new marketing strategies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the BFLG know if the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, 2008, can be deemed to cover breast milk substitutes?

A BMJ news article quotes a lawyer: "If a trader cannot prove scientifically that the product works, this will be treated as an unfair commercial practice to the detriment of the consumer. It can cover products that claim to give you energy, improve your concentration, diminish depression, or strengthen your physical and mental wellbeing.”

I wondered if, for example, the 'hungry baby' or night-time formulas might be covered?