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Global Community Should Support WHO Guidance On Breastfeeding, Address Breast Milk Substitute Marketing Issues

Devex: Protect breastfeeding, the ultimate personalized medicine
Elizabeth Zehner, project director, and Elizabeth Ransom, director of communications and advocacy, both with Helen Keller International’s Assessment and Research on Child Feeding Project

“…[R]aising awareness — and breastfeeding rates — among mothers will require changes in how milk substitutes are marketed across the globe. Helping address misperceptions about infant formula and encouraging breastfeeding could contribute significantly to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. … National laws should align with the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. … New guidance developed by WHO on Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children … reaffirms that all milk products marketed for feeding infants and young children are breast milk substitutes and their promotion is prohibited. Cross-promotion of these milks with complementary foods … is also identified as inappropriate. The global community must support this new guidance and work together to protect breastfeeding and the health of infants and young children” (4/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.