IBFAN BFLG comment

IBFAN and the Baby Feeding Law Group is mounting a campaign to change some new  Commission Proposals for revised regulations  on formulas and baby foods.  4 Working Documents are being discussed this week in Brussels.  

IBFAN believes that adoption of these proposals unchanged  will undermine child rights and child health.

Today I attended a High Level Group meeting with the new European Commissioner   VYTENIS ANDRIUKAITIS and asked him to do everything he can to improve the new Regulations – and most importantly to ensure that Member States CAN  implement the International Code and Resolutions, that they CAN  carry out their obligations under  human right international law and CAN follow through on the many international  policies they all sign up to: (ICN2, EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity)

The Commission is not considering the global impact of these new regulations AT ALL.  If like me you believe that this is  shocking please help us raise awareness –  we will be posting specific suggestions for this campaign very soon, including contacting your MEP.

In the meantime below are some useful documents – including the Commission proposals. Please note that  these are DRAFT and we hope that they will change.

IBFAN BFLG comment

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14_Press_Cuttings_adc14cattaneo  Advertisements of Follow-on formula and their perception by pregnant women and mothers in Italy    Cattaneo A, et al. Arch Dis Child 2014;0:1–6. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306996

archdischild-2014-306701.full  Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK Pokhrel S, et al. Arch Dis Child 2014;0:1–7. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306701

Here are the working documents on the delegated Regulations pursuant to Article 11(1) of Regulation (EU) No 609/2013  

  1. IF_FF_ advisory group_09022015 (FUF)
  2. FSMPs_WD_advisory group_09022015(FSMPS)
  3. PCBF_WD_BF_advisory group_09022015
  4. WD on young child formulae _Expert Group_finall

Despite  some welcome improvements related to composition and claims, if these  proposals are to be considered a step forward the following MINIMUM changes must be made:

  • The Regulation must meet the minimum requirement of the International Code and subsequent relevant WHA Resolution.
  • MS must have Legal surety to regulate labelling, marketing and advertising according to national health priorities and policies
  • Baby food: labelling and sugar levels in line with WHO recommendations.
  • Prior authorization by an independent expert body such as EFSA. – of the safety and beneficial effect of ALL ingredients – including those voluntarily added – and of foods claiming to be FSMP
  • No FSMP FUF.
  • Full consideration of the global impact – policy coherence with the EU’s International obligations – failing that – product specific safeguards on exports.
  • Revision of provisions to stop cross-promotion of IF with FUF and other baby foods
  • Marketing of formulas for older babies and young children strictly controlled.

LINK to EP debate 2013  http://www.babymilkaction.org/archives/706

Breastfeeding constitutes one of the single most effective interventions in order to fulfill the child’s rights to life and to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. All EU Member States (MS)  have endorsed the  International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (IC)  and the subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions (that clarify and update the IC) that are designed to remove obstacles to breastfeeding and to protect all mothers and babies from misinformation and commercial promotion –both breastfed and artificially fed. They are minimum requirements for ALL countries. All EU MS have also  ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a Human Rights Treaty that came into force in 1990. Article 24 of CRC mentions the importance of providing parents with education and support related to breastfeeding and the CRC General Comment No. 15 explains what this means. It stresses the obligation for States to protect, promote and support breastfeeding through the implementation of the World Health Assembly Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. (GSIYCF)[1] It also sets a direct obligation to companies to abide by the IC universally. Nations that ratified the Convention are bound to it by international law and thus have clear obligations. Nothing that the EU Commission says can alter this. Member states (MS) must ensure that the Commission is not granted the power to undermine a human right international law and thus misinterpret duty/obligation under it. The IC and WHA Resolutions are embedded in many global declarations, standards and strategies, including the EU Action Plan of Childhood Obesity and the INC2 Political Declaration and Framework for Action.[2] Breastfeeding is one of the EUs CORE Health Indicators for Determinants of Health. The regulations could undermine implementation and thus success of these initiatives – wasting public resources.   [1] CRC General Comment No 15 , Para 44. Exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months of age should be protected and promoted and breastfeeding should continue alongside appropriate complementary foods preferably until two years of age, where feasible. States’ obligations in this area are defined in the “protect, promote and support” framework, adopted unanimously by the World Health Assembly. States are required to introduce into domestic law, implement and enforce […] the International Code on Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions[…] 81. Among other responsibilities and in all contexts, private companies should […] comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk  Substitutes and the relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions […] http://www.ohchr.org/en/HRBodies/CRC/Pages/CRCIndex.aspx CRC General Comment No 16on State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights 57. States are also required to implement and enforce internationally agreed standards concerning children’s rights, health and business, including […] the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. [2]Framework for Action adopted at ICN2:  Recommended actions to promote, protect and support breastfeeding  Recommendation 29: Adapt and implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions. http://www.fao.org/3/a-mm215e.pdf     Old Laws that  will expire in 2016

EU In Fo 07 Directive

Export Directive 92:52:EEC

91 directive pdf


EU Council resolution 1992

REGULATION (EU) No 609/2013  (12 June 2013) on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control  This is the 2013 overarching Regulation that will cover formulas, baby foods and weight control foods and will  repeal the old Directives above

Other Laws that will stay in place:


06 Claims final  (Claims regulations that will cover Follow-on formulas and baby foods.)

Regulation 609/2013 proposes that 3 DELEGATED REGULATIONS ON INFANT FORMULA, FOLLOW-ON FORMULA and PROCESSED BABY FOODS are adopted by July 2015

the website of the Standing Committee on Food and Animal Health (SCoFAH)


CLICK Here for an article in Archives and Diseases, December 22, 2014 entitled: Advertisements of follow-on formula and their perception by pregnant women and mothers in Italy

In 2013 the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission adopted a Regulation on Foods for Specific Groups (FSG) 609/2013  in order to rationalise and simplify legislation covering various foods, including formulas for infants and young children. (1) The European Commission has been hosting a series of  expert working group meetings with Member States, businesses NGOs and others, in preparation for the Commission’s new ‘Delegated Acts’ that will come into force in 2015 and 2016.(2) In this process, the European Parliament’s recommendations, adopted in June 2013 (3)  must be taken into account. These include: ● tighter controls on follow-on milks ● no idealising text or  pictures ● stricter controls on foods claiming to be ‘for  special medical purposes’ (FSMPs) ● increased transparency, ● the use of the Precautionary Principle ● more democratic oversight ● MEP reviews of new ingredient There was a Member States Working Group on 2nd Feb to discuss the Commissions proposals  for the new Resolutions. There  will be a meeting with Experts (NGOs, Businesses etc ) on 17th February and one more Member State consultation on 18th February. 

Below are some background papers on EU legislation.

link to Baby Milk Action  report on the WHO Statement on Follow-up formula


direct link to the statement on WHO’s website


our report on the European Parliament vote



BFLG-IBFAN-Comments-on-EU-QA  (July 2014)

link to speeches etc and background



BFLG Briefing on  Foods for Special Medical Purposes


Reports on infant milks by First Steps Nutrition Trust


Notes: 1 REGULATION (EU) No 609/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 June 2013 on food intended for infants and young children, food for special medical purposes, and total diet replacement for weight control and repealing Council Directive 92/52/EEC, Commission Directives 96/8/EC, 1999/21/EC, 2006/125/EC and 2006/141/EC, Directive 2009/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulations (EC) No 41/2009 and (EC) No 953/2009 http://www.fsai.ie/uploadedFiles/Reg609_2013.pdf 2 Law-makers can give the EU Commission the option to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the EU law or framework law by delegating authority. The Lisbon Treaty introduces delegated acts as a special category of law in addition to EU directives and regulations. Delegated acts have supremacy over national laws and national constitutions although they are to be approved in an organ where all member states are not represented.  http://en.euabc.com/word/271 3 New strengthened rules for food for infants, young children and food for specific medical purpose, 11.6.13 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-522_en.htm 4 Preparatory work for the evaluation of the essential composition of infant and follow-on formulae and growing-up milk  http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/supporting/pub/551e.htm 5 http://ec.europa.eu/health/nutrition_physical_activity/docs/ childhoodobesity_actionplan_2014_2020_en.pdf 6 Maternal, infant and young child nutrition Report by the Secretariat EB 134/15, 20.12.13. http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/ EB134/B134_15-en.pdf Scientific and technical advisory group on Inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children  www.who.int/nutrition/events/2013_STAG_meeting_24to25June/ en/ 7 Commission Staff Working Document on certain requirements for FSMPs (supporting Document for the Expert Group meeting of 7 February 2014.) 8 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ. do?uri=CELEX:32006L0141:EN:NOT  9 Standard For Infant Formula And Formulas For Special Medical Purposes Intended For Infants Codex Stan 72 – 1981 10 FAO/WHO. 2007. Safe preparation, storage and handling of powdered infant formula: guidelines

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