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Tougher law call over formula milk

A row has broken out over mothers using formula milk instead of naturally breastfeeding their babies.

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) charity is calling for tougher restrictions on advertising around the products.

It comes after the glamour model Jordan was pictured in a magazine praising bottle feeding.

The NCT and a second charity, Save the Children, have referred the matter to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and trading standards.

They claim the article is product placement, although SMA, which manufactures the formula in the photograph, said it has no commercial ties with the star, whose real name is Katie Price.

The NCT is now urging the government to change the law, at the same time as the FSA is reviewing the rules regarding formula milk advertising.

NCT chief executive Belinda Phipps said: "What we are really asking for is the Food Standards Agency to think again about their legislation and what it should be, because the law in the UK is being flouted.

"They have an opportunity to rewrite the statutory instrument and it needs to be much tougher."

An SMA spokeswoman said it fully supports the idea that breast feeding is best for babies and that infant milks are intended to replace breast milk when mothers do not breast feed.


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"You open: "A row has broken out over mothers using formula milk instead of naturally breast feeding their babies." This totally misrepresents the situation. The row is over Wyeth/SMA promoting formula in breach of World Health Organisation marketing requirements. These are intended to protect and promote breastfeeding AND to ensure the safe use of breastmilk substitutes if these are necessary. In the UK most formula companies are failing to warn mothers that powdered infant formula is not sterile and to provide clear instructions on how to reduce the risks. The current campaign for strengthened  regulations would force them to give parents the information they need on lables and to ensure parents receive independent and accurate information. It is disappointing this article presents a call for protection for all parents as an attack on mothers who use formula" - Mike Brady, Baby Milk Action