Baby Milk Action/IBFAN UK, as part of a global network, IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) a network of over 348 citizens groups in more than 108 countries. We act to stop misleading marketing by the baby feeding industry. We protect breastfeeding and babies fed on formula to prevent unnecessary death and suffering.
The International Baby Food Action Network works by building alliances, protecting people from baby food corporations’ misleading propaganda, advocating with governments to hold the baby food corporations accountable, providing technical and planning support to governments, campaigning, training and capacity building.
IBFAN is a watch-dog organisation, monitoring the compliance with the International Code of Breast Milk Substitutes, and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions, as well as highlighting conflict of interests in policies and programmes both globally and nationally.
In 1997 Baby Milk Action founded the Baby Feeding Law Group, a coalition of leading health professional and mother support groups. We hosted the secretariat until 2018 when it passed to First Steps Nutrition Trust.
Baby Milk Action is a founding member of the Conflicts of Interest Network (formerly the Conflicts of Interest Coalition).
Click here to download our leaflet: What we do – How to help.
There is no food more locally produced or sustainable than breastmilk. A breastfed child is less likely to suffer from gastroenteritis, respiratory and ear infections, diabetes, allergies and other illnesses. In areas with unsafe water a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea.
Breastfeeding saves lives – and could save more. Estimates in 2013 suggest 11.6% of under-5 deaths could be prevented by breastfeeding. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says: ‘Globally, breastfeeding has the potential to prevent about 800,000 under-five deaths per year if all children 0–23 months were optimally breastfed.’
That is why a marketing code was introduced in 1981 to regulate the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Companies continue to violate its provisions – see examples here. Find out how Baby Milk Action works to stop them and how you can help.
Protecting babies fed on formula
Breastmilk substitutes are legitimate products for when a child is not breastfed and does not have access to expressed or donor breastmilk. Companies should comply with composition and labelling requirements and other Code requirements to reduce risks – independently of government measures. Parents have a right to accurate, independent information.
See our poster for sources of independent information on formula for health workers – UNICEF and Department of Health in the UK have produced a guide for parents.
Baby Milk Action is not anti-baby milk. Our work protects all mothers and infants from irresponsible marketing.