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Advances in legislation against baby milk promotion in Africa.

A report on new laws around marketing of formula milks has been published in Update, the newsletter of Baby Milk Action, part of the International Baby Food Action Network. The article points out that good breastfeeding practices are at the top of the list of interventions to reduce under-5 mortality, and urges that, 'as policy makers struggle to fulfil the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, effective and comprehensive controls on marketing which protect and support breastfeeding are imperative'.

Countries with good marketing controls show increased breastfeeding rates, the report continues. It highlights the fact that, in the past, there has been inappropriate promotion of breastmilk substitutes in Botswana and welcomes the news that this country adopted one of the strongest laws in Africa on June 8, 2005. Botswana now joins other African countries with similar robust legislation, such as Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Key points in Botswana's Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children Regulation include:

* a comprehensive ban on all types of promotion of all foods (and feeding equipment) for infants

* independent monitoring which requires health workers to keep a record of contraventions

* a ban on free or low-cost supplies

* a ban on all commercial support and benefits for health workers, including equipment, and any services which refer to company names or logos

* a ban on nutrition and health claims, pictures of infants, women, animals or toys or any symbol depicting a health advantage.

Botswana adopts one of Africa's strongest laws. Update 2005: no 36: 5.
COPYRIGHT 2005 International Confederation of Midwives
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Title Annotation:Worldwide news
Publication:International Midwifery
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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