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Baby Milk Action

Email update : 10 September 2011

Three ways to protect mothers and babies in the UK

Report violations to the BFLG monitoring project

Baby Milk Action is the secretariat for the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG), made up of 23 leading UK health professional and mother support organisations.

BFLG site

We have just upgraded the BFLG website and invite you to take a look around and give us your feedback.

Those of you who have been reporting cases of aggressive marketing by the baby food companies will find familiar forms on the new site - but with enhanced features.

You can now save the data you enter into the forms to complete later and can return to view the forms you have submitted. Just register with the site. You can also attach photos, scans, screenshots and video clips to your submission, instead of having to send these separately by email.

With the new site, we aim to streamline our handling of violations. Your reports have always been immediately useful - we have taken some cases up with enforcement authorities, launched campaigns or used them in our advocacy work - but it took us a while to expose malpractice in the monitoring reports we produce. Now we aim to build up company profiles on the site by posting details of current practices soon after violations are reported.

So please do keep your eyes and ears open and let us know how baby food companies are marketing their products where you are.

You can also support the BFLG monitoring project by making a donation specifically towards this work - click here. This does not have to be large. A pound or three added to those from everyone else soon adds up!

If you are outside the UK, you can report violations to our partners at the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) International Code Documentation Centre (ICDC). Use the form on the IBFAN site - click here.

ePetition for debate on infant feeding

We have posted an ePetition on the British Prime Minister's website calling on the Government to deliver on its infant feeding obligations.

Petitions receiving 100,000 signatures will be debated in Parliament.

The aim is to gain at least this number by National Breastfeeding Week in May 2012. The Government withdrew its support for the week in 2011 and also scrapped the posts of Infant Feeding Coordinator at the Department of Health - even though these posts are called for under the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.

To find out more and to sign up if you are a UK national, go to:

Share the BFLG page about the ePetition to tell people about this campaign- click here.

If you use Facebook, then you can click on the 'like' button you find on every page of the site to share it with your friends.

Accurate information about formula

BFLG is working to strengthen UK baby feeding laws in line with UN recommendations - such as the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly.

The aim of the Code and Resolutions is "to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution".

Stopping company promotion in line with the provisions of the Code and Resolutions is part of that process.

As well as seeing breastfeeding promoted, we want to ensure that there is accurate information available for those parents and carers who indicate they intend to use formula.

Such information is increasingly available from independent sources and Baby Milk Action has made its contribution by interviewing experts from BFLG member organisations to produce the Infant Formula Explained DVD.

The DVD contains a film for health workers and a film for use with parents and carers intending to use formula. The DVD provides objective information and investigates some of the claims companies make about their products. It also shows how to make up powdered formula in line with World Health Organisation and Department of Health recommendations to reduce the risks of possible contamination with harmful bacteria.

You can find out more on the BFLG site - click here.

The DVD is suitable for use in UNICEF Baby Friendly accredited facilities.

Health facility administrators and health workers can enquire about a licence to use the films via the above link.

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