Unicef urges tighter rules and promotion of breastfeeding

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2008, 12:00am

Unicef has called on the government to regulate sales practices of producers of breast-milk substitutes in the wake of the adulterated-milk scandal.

The UN children's agency urged the government to promote breastfeeding by incorporating into local laws the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes that the World Health Organisation and Unicef developed. The code applies to the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and regulates labelling of those products.

The government should also regulate and provide more breastfeeding training for medical staff so more mothers could learn breastfeeding techniques, Unicef said.

'Marketing techniques mislead parents to think that formula milk has no risks at all,' it said. 'In fact, powdered infant formula itself may contain pathogens.'

Vivian Leung Tai Yuet-kam, founding chairwoman of the Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mothers' Association, said 'Breast milk is infinitely superior to every brand of formula.'