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IBFAN submissions to the 37th codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) 

Bad Soden am Taunus, Germany
23-27 November 2015

I will be joining the IBFAN Codex team  for the 37th  Codex nutrition meeting in Germany.   Here are our submissions on three agenda items and a quick summary of our  concerns .

  1. FUF_IBFAN Agenda Item 5  Review of the Standard for Follow-up  Formula (FUF) – IBFAN share’s WHO’s view that FUFs and other formulas for older babies (such as the so called Growing Up and Toddler formulas that are sure to be included in the revised FUF standard) are not necessary and their marketing undermines  breastfeeding (both before and after 6 months)  These products can include flavoured, sweetened and fortified milk products that pose many risks to child health, including  childhood obesity.   We are advocating that the safety and marketing of products already on the market are dealt with under a renamed Infant formula standard.
  2. Biofortification_IBFAN
  3. Agenda Item 6   Biofortification – IBFAN’s position is that the definition must clearly inform consumers that the methods used are conventional plant breeding and genetic modification. We are opposed to using  generic terms such as “agricultural methodologies” which hide the true means of production and mislead consumers. We are also concerned about the impact of biofortification on biodiversity which can negatively effect dietary diversity and nutrition intakes.
  4. IBFAN comment on the UNICEF discussion paper on RUFs 37th CCNFSDU [final] Agenda Item 8  Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs)  We highlight the risk of unintended consequences of expanding the global trade of these therapeutic products that have a highly specific and limited function and suggest that  the evidence for their  efficacy is weak. We understand and share UNICEF’s wish to improve the safety, quality and timely delivery of products when they are needed, but have concerns that a Codex instrument may not achieve this aim.  It may also divert funds away from support for breastfeeding and the use of local complementary foods combined with nutrition education  –  the most sustainable way to reduce the incidence of SAM. In countries such as India and Nepal the incidence of SAM has decreased without the use of imported and expensive RUTFs. IBFAN does not support the development of a separate commodity standard or  guideline and believe that WHO, FAO and UNICEF should provide guidance and support to national governments on the comprehensive treatment of SAM appropriate to national needs and cultural practices rather than single product approaches  
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