The Code? What Code?!

There is currently quite a bit in the News at the moment about a MP from Scotland called Alison Thewliss who is presenting a Bill in parliament that relates to formula advertising and promotion.

Her Bill “seeks to ban formula milk companies from making misleading statements about the nutritional value of their formula milk products in marketing and advertising. My Bill aims to give parents the access to the best quality information about formula milks so that they can make the right decisions when feeding their babies and young children. (alisonthewliss.scot (2017))

This Bill is *not* about banning formula milk, just how it’s promoted to parents so they are able to make better informed choices.

It has a long way to go before it (hopefully) becomes Law but increasing the pressure aimed at formula companies to change how they market their products can only be a good thing.

If it does become Law, it will mean that the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitute (AKA the Code) has a bit of legislation that will underpin its ethos.

 

(bestforbabes.org (2016))

 

If you breastfeed you may be asking yourself why the Code matters to you. It’s about breast milk substitutes right? Well, kind of.

It’s main aim is to promote breastfeeding and stop marketing practices that interfere with breastfeeding. Such as the adverts aimed at mothers neuroses that make me want to throw my coffee at the t.v!

You’ve no doubt seen them, potentially pooh-poohed them but imagine if you are a first time mama who is really struggling with breastfeeding. One of those adverts comes on the t.v saying how it’s *almost* like breast milk with its added vitamins and minerals that will make little Johnny an astronaut or brain surgeon. Get the picture?!

As the Code is not Law, it can only support what legislation is already in place. It can also highlight ways in which your government can protect you from aggressive marketing and can assist companies in concentrating on ethical advertising.

So, at present, the companies who manufacture and distribute formula milk are able to voluntarily conform to the code. The Bill that Alison Thewliss is proposing will ensure that some of the fundamentally important aspects of the Code are Law.

 

Reference.

alisonthewliss.scot (2017) ‘Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion)Bill.’ [online] Available from http://www.alisonthewliss.scot/feeding-products-for-babies-and-children-advertising-and-promotion-bill/

(Accessed 21st February 2017)

 

bestforbabes.org (2016) ‘The Code-Why does it matter to You?’ [online] Available from http://www.bestforbabes.org/the-code-why-does-it-matter/

(Accessed 21st February 2017)

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