IBFAN’s has concerns about a new, Global Monitoring Mechanism (GMM), funded by the Gates Foundation (BMGF) and facilitated by the Meridian Institute.
IBFAN agreed to be consulted initially. However, the final report takes little account of the views expressed and proposes that the baby feeding industry should be included as partners in the monitoring. This highly problematic – essentially “inviting the fox to build a chicken coop” and defying the well accepted COI principle that “no one should be a judge in his own cause.”
IBFAN issued a Dissent Note and is distancing itself from the project. UNICEF also distanced itself from the final report.
Meridian is now in the process of inviting NGOs to join the Mechanism. We hope that all those who understand the need to protect child health from commercial exploitation will remind Meridian of WHA Res 49.15, – the Resolution adopted in 1996 that: “urged Member States: (3) to ensure that monitoring the application of the International Code and subsequent relevant resolutions is carried out in a transparent, independent manner, free from commercial influence.”
Subsequent WHA resolutions, along with the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF) have set out the two and only appropriate roles for the baby feeding industry: full compliance with the International Code and Resolutions and meeting standards of Codex Alimentarius.