New law bans infant formula advertising

national August 18, 2017 15:13

By The Nation

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A new law, which bans manufacturers, importers and distributors from advertising and marketing infant formula milk or powdered milk and other food products for toddlers, will be in effect next month.



The Department of Health has confirmed that the Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act 2017, which was published in the Royal Gazette on July 10, will be in effect on September 9.

Department chief Dr Wachira Pengchan said on Friday that the law does not ban the sale of formula milk or food products.

Wachira explained that the law was to control baby food marketing to be appropriate and meet international standards to prevent misinformation.

He said newborns up to the age of six months should solely take breast milk. After six months, they could take breast milk along with food or supplements as necessary and appropriate.

Photo from: www.mamaexpert.com

Wachira said the law prohibits anyone from advertising infant and food for young children or conveys a message 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 Organisation’s 1-6-2 code recommendation; to breastfeed a newborn within one hour of birth, to solely breastfeed the baby until six months old, and to breastfeed the baby along with other 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 two aspects were the promotion of training for healthcare and medical staff to provide knowledge to new mothers and families about breastfeeding, and ensure workplaces and public sites accommodate breastfeeding.

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