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Ibfan Penang

IBFAN ICDC – International Code Documentation Centre (Code training and monitoring)

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Without protection, the promotion of breastfeeding is an impossible uphill battle. The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes was adopted to protect breastfeeding. IBFAN Penang, as the host of ICDC, the International Code Documentation Centre, keeps track of what countries and companies are doing to protect or endanger breastfeeding.  It also supports governments and IBFAN groups through Training & Legal Advice, Enforcement, Code Monitoring & Documentation, and Advocacy & Capacity Building.

Marketing of breastmilk substitutes seeks to undermine women’s confidence and understanding of breastfeeding and competes with breastfeeding promotion. While the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes has reduced the more blatant forms of advertising and sampling, more subtle, yet very effective forms of commercial promotion still continue, especially in countries where there is no Code implementation or enforcement.  Market research reports estimate the value of the baby food business in 2014 to be USD 51 billion. This is huge competition with breastmilk.

Implementing the International Code not only helps countries to invest in a healthier future generation but also to reduce expenditure on costly imported substitutes and on the costs of unnecessary morbidity and mortality. The International Code has been identified as a key area for priority action in both the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (2002) and the UN-endorsed HIV and Infant Feeding Framework for Priority Action (2003). The Global Strategy gives NGOs the specific responsibility to work “for full implementation of the principles and aim of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant Health Assembly resolutions” (Article 41).

IBFAN Penang is the most specialized independent global authority on Code implementation. It collects, compiles and analyses Code measures worldwide and advises governments and NGOs. Every three years, it publishes evidence of manufacturers who violate the Code.


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