Update: the APPG has now been formed. Many thanks to everyone who contacted their MPs. Fifteen from three parties attended the meeting on 19 January 2016 to complete the formalities, elect officers and develop a programme of subjects for the coming period. Sign up for Baby Milk Action campaign alerts for future news.
Last November I attended the preliminary meeting of the proposed All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Infant Feeding & Inequalities. This took place in the House of Commons and was called by Alison Thewliss MP.
As the name suggests, an APPG brings together Members of Parliament (MPs) from different parties to discuss topics of interest. It can help to develop cross-party policies. There were representatives of many health professional organisations and mother support groups at the meeting who supported the formation of the APPG.
The UK is committed to the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, which aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to ensure that parents who use breastmilk substitutes receive accurate, independent information. However, the Global Strategy has not yet been fully implemented in the countries of the UK and the APPG will explore the policy options, while hearing from experts on how these will contribute to improving infant and young child feeding practices, improving short and long-term health outcomes and reducing health inequalities.
The APPG needs the backing of MPs from all parties to be formally established. So if you are in the UK, please contact your MP. You can do so using the website http://www.writetothem.com/
You should write you own message explaining why you would like your MP to support the APPG. MPs tend to ignore identical messages. The key points are:
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding & Inequalities is very much needed to discuss how to support parents better with regard to infant and young child feeding.
All parents and carers have a right to accurate, independent information, however they feed their children. Action is needed to achieve this.
The preliminary meeting for the APPG took place on 24 November 2015 and was called by Alison Thewliss MP.
There will be a further meeting to formally establish the APPG on Tuesday 19th January at 9.30am in room W1 of Westminster Hall.
You can add information from your own experience explaining why you think this APPG is needed.
Please ask you MP to attend the meeting if possible and to add their name to join the group.
Simply go to the website http://www.writetothem.com/ then follow the instructions to contact your MP.
Please let us know if you receive a reply.