China Considers Ban On Infant Formula Ads To Encourage Breastfeeding

“China may ban sales promotions and advertising for milk formula designed for babies younger than six months in an effort to encourage breastfeeding, the Ministry of Health” said Wednesday in a statement, Bloomberg reports, adding that “the government is canvassing public opinion on a draft plan.” UNICEF “said it supported measures to curb the use of infant formula, whose sales in China more than doubled in four years,” Bloomberg writes.

“While 41 percent of newborns begin life on breastmilk in China, the number drops to 28 percent over the next six months,” a rate lower “than the 36 percent average in developing countries, according to UNICEF, which looked at data from 2005 to 2009,” the news service reports. “A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to more than a million avoidable child deaths globally each year, the World Health Organization” said in July, Bloomberg notes (Khan, 11/9).