February 2019.

Calling time on formula milk adverts

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1200 (Published 18 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1200

RCPCH statement on relationship with formula milk companies


31.1.2019: RCPCH Decision to suspend https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/news-events/news/rcpch-statement-future-funding-agreements-formula-milk-companies


At the Annual General Meeting of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health held earlier this week, members voted overwhelmingly to agree the following resolution:  Statement

“This meeting warmly welcomes Council’s decision on 13th February 2019 to decline all future funding from Formula Milk companies. We reiterate RCPCH’s enduring commitment to the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (“the Code”). We accept the WHO position that “The Code” and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions “must be considered together in the interpretation and translation into national measures”.  This includes resolution 69.9, which called upon healthcare professionals to implement a recommendation that “any donations to the health care system (including health workers and professional associations) from companies selling foods for infants and young children represent a conflict of interest and should not be allowed” and that “sponsorship of meetings of health professionals and scientific meetings by companies selling foods for infants and young children should not be allowed”. This meeting requests that RCPCH encourage all its partner and subsidiary organisations to become similarly adherent to “the Code” and subsequent resolutions.”

The leadership of the College agreed to be bound by the resolution and to request that individual members also follow its principles.
The President Professor Russell Viner stated in response to questions that the joint meeting between the RCPCH and the International Paediatric Association to be held in Glasgow next year will be free of sponsorship by manufacturers of breast milk substitutes. He has also agreed that the College will encourage other paediatric associations to follow its policy of not accepting such funding.

Members attending the AGM expressed their appreciation to the President and officers for the promulgation of the new RCPCH policy which is in line with WHO recommendations.

ISSOP (the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health) calls on the RCPCH and all other national and international paediatric associations to support and endorse its Declaration on Conflict of Interest and Funding from the Baby Food Industry.

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