The following is the response of the Green Party to our letter on its infant and young child feeding policies. For the full list of responses and our letter see: http://www.babymilkaction.org/election-uk-2015
Green Party policy on Infant and Young Child Feeding
1. Will your party fully implement the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding in the UK?
The Green Party will support in full the implementation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the subsequent WHA resolutions. The necessary powers would be allocated to the Food Standards Agency and Local Authority staff. [Further details below].
2. Will your party reinstate the National Infant Feeding Survey?
We don’t have a specific policy on the National Infant Feeding Survey, but do propose an extensive range of interventions to promote and normalise breast-feeding, so a beneficial means of assessment may be adopted.
Our full policies on breast-feeding and artificial feeding products are the following:
HE311 The Green Party will work to ensure that:
- Pregnant women are given the facts about how to breastfeed, and also the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding so that they can make an informed choice about how to feed their babies.
- Hospitals provide the counselling and advice by trained NHS staff to enable breastfeeding to be established straight after birth, should the mother wish to breastfeed. Special help will be given to women immediately after birth if they are in pain, ill, or exhausted by a difficult labour. Disabled women and those with babies with special needs will be given specialist help to establish breastfeeding.
- It becomes an offence to stop nursing mothers from breastfeeding their children in public places (including the breastfeeding of toddlers in premises where children are already allowed). Businesses that break the law, or whose employees break the law, will face significant fines.
- Public buildings and shops are encouraged to provide breastfeeding facilities for women who wish to breastfeed in a private, comfortable, quiet place. Councils are required to provide breastfeeding facilities in all their significant buildings open to the public, such as town halls and libraries.
- Breastfeeding mothers who return to work are made aware of, and encouraged to take advantage of, their legal right to take breastfeeding breaks.
- Steps be taken in order to normalise breastfeeding, including improving education in schools, public awareness campaigns, and reassurances given by breastfeeding counsellors regarding the legitimacy of public breastfeeding.
- The provision of enough around the clock breastfeeding counselling services to support women who have problems with breastfeeding, and expand the networks of breastfeeding mothers set up locally for women to be able to give each other help.
HE312 The Green Party will institute a complete review of the regulations regarding the promotion of artificial feeding products and the accompanying equipment to make it possible for families to make decisions about infant feeding without commercial pressure. We will support in full the implementation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the subsequent WHA resolutions. Powers would be allocated to the appropriate bodies to enforce the regulations, with education as needed for Food Standards Agency and Local Authority staff. (See: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/he.html#HE311)
The Green Party of England and Wales
Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT