Bid to ban ‘aggressive marketing’ of infant milk formula fails

The Sidney Morning Herald
Stephanie Nebehay

International health officials stopped short on Friday of fully endorsing World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to end the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes and baby foods for newborn and older infants.
Activists said the consensus, hammered out in negotiations chaired by Ecuador, overcame resistance by dairy producers led by the United States, European Union and New Zealand.

But they said they feared that national health authorities will not feel obliged to implement the recommendations because the compromise language fell short of calling for applying the WHO guidelines clearly favouring breastfeeding for infants.

“We have a consensus resolution,” Ecuadorian diplomat Martina Martinez said after the closed-door session. The statement is expected to be adopted by WHO’s Assembly of 194 member states on Saturday.
The text “welcomes with appreciation” the WHO technical guidance but does not “endorse” it, as in an earlier draft, officials said.

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