Friday, July 20, 2007

Can we make the UK law work?

Earlier this year we applauded the UK authorities for taking action to enforce the UK Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations 1995. It may have taken 12 years, but finally the companies were being warned about their infant formula labels. The Food Standards Agency wrote advising them that only the 6 claims specified in the law may be used on labels and any others are 'non-compliant'. Trading Standards officers were informed and encouraged to enforce the regulations. But we have watched the companies launch new labels with non-compliant claims and other idealising text and images with apparent impunity.

Far from the crack down taking a load off Baby Milk Action with the authorities using their far greater resources to hold the corporations to account, we have had to act to encourage them to fulfill their statutory obligations. A little disappointing as, according to a Government Minister, they have already been given official encouragement.

So we have been in correspondence with various home authorities and the Councils responsible for them and today have put out a press release about a campaign in Parliament. Lynne Jones MP tabled an Early Day Motion yesterday calling for the regulations to be enforced.

You can help if you are in the UK by asking your MP to sign up. Details of how to take this and other action is given with our press release. See:

Here is the message I have sent to my MP which you may like to select and copy to adapt for your own use.

I am writing to request that you give your support to Early Day Motion 1963 on "Local Authority Enforcement of Labelling Requirements of the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations 1995".

The Food Standards Agency advised companies on the requirements last year, but they continue to market formula which does not comply and have even launched new labels that contain health claims that are not permitted. The Government has said Trading Standards officers have been encouraged to take action, but as nothing appears to be happening MPs are being asked to add their encouragement by signing the EDM.

You can find additional information at:

Please contact me if you require further information.

Yours sincerely,

As Lynne Jones MP said: "If companies do not follow the law, then the law has to be enforced."


Anonymous said...

I have emailed my MP, Theresa May (Maidenhead) and asked her to support the EDM.

When I wrote about protecting mothers' rights to feed their babies in public she was not very supportive. I hope she is this time.

awkward-questions said...

Could you please post e-mail addresses for the CEOs of each of the companies involved so that we, as individuals, can ask the companies in a form such as this:

Dear x

I have just read this news report:

Could you please advise by what date your company's infant formula products
will be compliant with UK law?

Will your company be withdrawing from sale those products which do not
currently comply with the law?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely