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Baby Milk Action

Email update 16 January 2016

Victory on baby food marketing regulations needs endorsing by European Parliament - ACT NOW

The European Parliament will be voting on whether to reduce the level of sugar and pesticides in baby foods on 20 January. A positive vote will also stop companies marketing complementary foods for use before 6 months of age. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended to six months and only infant formula is needed for this period if not breastfeeding.

Please contact your representatives in the European Parliament and ask them to vote in favour of Keith Taylor MEP’s Objection pursuant to Rule 105: processed cereal-based food and baby food (ENVI/8/04983) on 20 January.

The motion calls for sugar levels and age-of-use to follow World Health Assembly recommendations. It suggests that the pesticide glyphosate, as an example, should be added to the active substances where a maximum value is specified and stricter maximum values introduced over time.

If you wish, you can add your own comments explaining why you think these measures are important.

For contact details for UK MEPs go to:

Outside the UK, find your MEPs by going to:

Full details at:

This vote is taking place thanks to a successful campaign at the Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI), which has been scrutinising new formula and baby food regulations drafted by the European Commission.

Thank you to everyone who contacted ENVI Committee members in the first phase of this campaign. We must now win the vote at the full Parliament to prompt the Commission to make the required changes. So please do contact your MEPs:

Note: Keith Taylor MEP also tabled motions calling for promotion of follow-on formula and specialised formulas to be banned, as required by the World Health Assembly, but these were defeated.

This means promotion like Danone's Aptamil television advertisement that suggests its formula turns babies into mathematical geniuses (below) will continue - unless national governments act (see next item).

Danone advertising

We did win some important improvements in the regulations at an earlier stage in the process, which should stop companies cross promoting infant formula. For example, Danone should no longer use its Aptamil infant formula brand and similar packaging on other products after the regulations come into force.

It would have been simpler to ban follow-on formula adverts such as the above outright. Follow-on formula and growing-up milks are unnecessary products, according to the World Health Organisation and NHS. There are also concerns about sugar levels and added ingredients. Unfortunately too many MEPs seemed happy to take a "buyer beware" approach and give companies a free pass to mislead parents who use formula. Details at:

New UK All Party Parliamentary Group needed to protect infant health - ACT NOW

An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is being formed on Infant Feeding and Inequalities. If you are in the UK, you can help this get off the ground by contacting you Member of Parliament (MP).

As the name suggests, an APPG brings together MPs from different parties to discuss topics of interest. It can help to develop cross-party policies. Representatives of many health professional organisations and mother support groups backed the formation of the APPG at a preliminary meeting called by Alison Thewliss MP on 24 November.

The APPG needs the backing of MPs from all parties to be formally established. So if you are in the UK, please contact your MP before the deadline of 19 January. You can do so using the website

You should write you own message explaining why you would like your MP to support the APPG. MPs tend to ignore identical messages. The key points are:

  • The All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding & Inequalities is very much needed to discuss how to support parents better with regard to infant and young child feeding.
  • All parents and carers have a right to accurate, independent information, however they feed their children. Action is needed to achieve this.
  • The preliminary meeting for the APPG took place on 24 November 2015 and was called by Alison Thewliss MP.
  • There will be a further meeting to formally establish the APPG on Tuesday 19th January at 9.30am in room W1 of Westminster Hall.

Please let us know whether your MP agrees to support the APPG.

Find out more on our APPG campaign page and share it with friends:

Botswana Gazette exposes Nestlé scandal in front-page article as government acts

Aggressive baby milk marketing was exposed as front-page news in Botswana this week (right: Botswana Gazette, 13 - 19 January).


Botswana Gazette

The Ministry of Health (permanent secretary pictured) is taking action to crack down on violations of marketing standards.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more on this story - and sign up for campaign alerts if you did not receive this email from us directly.

"We haven't got time to swing a cat in this office" - have a laugh and help Baby Milk Action

As you might gather from this email, Baby Milk Action is extremely busy.

As Patti Rundall, our Policy Director, has been heard to say, "We haven't got time to swing a cat in this office".

You can now enjoy a hilarious compilation of Patti's verbal mishaps and malapropisms in the book Pattiboobs, published by Pinter and Martin.

Gabrielle Palmer, author of The Politics of Breastfeeding, has brought together more than 40 of Patti’s best sayings into a delightful little book.

Illustrated by Philip Rundall and with an afterword by Mike Brady, this is an ideal gift.

Buy the book to have a laugh and help Baby Milk Action's fundraising. Click here or look for the "books" section at:

You could also ask your local bookshops to stock Pattiboobs - put them in touch with us for details.

You can also support out work by becoming a member at:

or donating at:

Most important of all today is to support the campaign actions at the top of this email.

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