Experts seek curbs on ads for baby milk

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 June, 1999, 12:00am

Health experts are to demand controls on companies marketing baby milk formula.

They say 48 countries, including the mainland, have rules or laws regulating promotion of breast milk substitutes.

There is a voluntary international code barring advertising and discount offers - intended to protect breastfeeding - but violations in Hong Kong are rampant, according to Dr Patricia Ip Lai-sheung, vice-chairman of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

She said companies used adverts and contacted new parents.

A Legco motion debate on the issue has been tabled by the Democratic Party deputy spokesman on health care policy, Michael Ho Mun-ka, for Wednesday. He said he wanted the Government to develop a clear policy.

Sarah Hung, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong La Leche League - a non-profit international organisation supporting breastfeeding - said she thought the code should be put into law or regulations should be enforceable otherwise they would not be effective.