Marketing of breastmilk substitutes: national implementation of the international code, status report 2022

This report provides updated information on the status of implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions (collectively referred to as “the Code”) in countries. It presents the legal status of the Code, including the extent to which the provisions of the Code have been incorporated in national legal measures. The report examines how legal measures enacted in the past five years differ from earlier measures. It also identifies provisions specifically pertaining to the digital marketing of breastmilk substitutes (BMS).

Report Recommendations

1. Countries that have not revised their laws or regulations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes in the past
few years should use this report to identify gaps in
coverage of all Code provisions and take action to update their legal measures. The WHO/EURO model law is a tool to help to strengthen national regulatory frameworks to protect infants and young children from the harmful effects of food marketing.
Countries that have not yet enacted legal measures on the Code should recognize their obligations, both under international human rights law and international agreements, to eliminate inappropriate marketing practices through regulatory action.
Countries should examine the new promotional techniques being used in digital media and explore how legal channels can be better utilized to stop this type of promotion. While many digital strategies are already covered in existing legal provisions and
simply need stronger monitoring and enforcement,
some online and social media promotional approaches will require adaptations to existing regulations.
Governments must allocate adequate budgets and human resources to ensure that national Code legislation is monitored and fully enforced, guaranteeing that deterrent sanctions are routinely applied in the case of violations.
Health professional bodies and health care workers should carry out their responsibilities under the Code and national legislation to avoid conflicts of interest and fully protect, promote and support optimal infant and young child feedin

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