Thailand bans infant formula milk, baby food ads to encourage breastfeeding

August 21, 2017

Thailand has passed a new law that bans manufacturers, importers and distributors from advertising and marketing infant formula milk or powdered milk and other food products for toddlers.

Department chief Dr. Wachira Pengchan said that the law is meant to ensure that baby food marketing is appropriate and that it meets international standards to prevent misinformation.

The Department of Health has confirmed that the Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act 2017 will begin to take effect on September 9.

Wachira said newborns up to the age of six months should solely be breastfed.

After six months, they could take breast milk along with food or supplements as necessary.

Wachira said the law prohibits anyone from advertising infant formula, food for young children or claims that the products are suitable for babies.

The law bans the advertisement of food supplement products for babies in any form for commercial gain, he said.

This included the posting of pictures or the use of other media materials in advertising baby food products, he added.

The department has been urging Thai mothers to breastfeed their infants as per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 1-6-2 code recommendation, which is to breastfeed a newborn within one hour of birth, to solely breastfeed the baby until it is six months old, and to breastfeed the baby along with other kinds of food until two years old or more, Wachira said.

The new law is one out of three related aspects that the department was working on, he said. The other aspect is the promotion of training for medical and healthcare staff to provide knowledge to new mothers and families about breastfeeding, while the other one is to ensure that breastfeeding will be accommodated in workplaces and public sites.


Category: Features, Health alert

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