Press Release 2016


  • New 84-country IBFAN report launched at World Breastfeeding Conference shows progress in helping mothers to breastfeed –  December 11, 2016.

On the occasion of IBFAN’s Second World Breastfeeding Conference Dr. M.J Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Health, Government of the Republic of South Africa, today released IBFAN’s new global report: Has Your Nation Done Enough to Bridge the Gaps?: 84 country report on status and progress of implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding 2008-2016”.

The report shows that despite the undisputed evidence that infant mortality could be reduced by 1.3 times if all women breastfed their babies within the first hour of birth, only half of all newborns in the 80 countries reviewed are breastfed. Read more


  • Halfdan Mahler: father of the International Code dies.

We are very sad to hear that Halfdan Mahler WHO’s Director General when the International Code was adopted has died on 14th December. What an amazing contribution this man made to children’s health and survival.  Read more


  • Global standard-setting committee puts child health before trade

38th Code Alimentarius Nutrition Committee, Hamburg, Germany 7th December 2016

Codex Alimentarius, the FAO/WHO body that sets global trading standards for food,  today decided to put the interest of child health above trade when, in a breakthrough consensus,  the Committee agreed to include reference to WHO’s recommendations (and HERE) for strict controls on the marketing and labelling of formulas for babies over six months.[i] Today’s development should help governments halt the inappropriate marketing of these products, including cross-branding with formulas for infants. for more information please Read more



Breastfeeding a matter of human rights, say UN experts, urging action on formula milk

GENEVA (22 November 2016) – Breastfeeding is a human rights issue for babies and mothers and should be protected and promoted for the benefit of both, a group of United Nations experts says in a statement* made public today. 

States should take urgent action to stop the “misleading, aggressive and inappropriate” marketing of breast-milk substitutes in a multi-billion-dollar global industry, say the UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, and on the right to food, Hilal Elver, together with the Working Group on discrimination against women, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Read more and




Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill

News Release from Alison Thewliss MP Wednesday 16th November 2016   

A new law to tighten up advertising of formula milk has cleared its first Commons hurdle today.  MPs gave their unanimous backing to SNP MP Alison Thewliss to push ahead with her Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill, which she says will “better support all parents in the infant feeding choices they make for their children”. The Scottish MP, who chairs Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding & Inequalities, has already secured cross-party support from MPs in the Conservatives and Labour as well as other parties in the UK Parliament. She will now take her Bill forward for second reading in Parliament in February.for more information please Read more


  • Press Release: National WIC Association Statement on Infant Formula Manufacturers

September 10, 2016  Denver, CO: This morning, National WIC Association (NWA) Board of Directors Chair, Donna Bister, announced during NWA’s 2016 Nutrition Education & Breastfeeding Promotion Conference the Association is ending its relationships with infant formula manufacturers, putting into effect a resolution passed in May 2015 and reaffirmed in May 2016 by voting members of the Association. Effective immediately, NWA will no longer invite infant formula manufacturers to be members, exhibitors at conferences, advertisers or sponsors of events and activities. for more information please Read more


  • England, NI and Wales: Improvement Notices introduced today to enforce EU formula and baby food marketing rules – companies face criminal charges for non compliance  20 July 2016 Read more


  • Trade vs Health – WHO opens the door to big business while trying to protect babies.  69th World Health Assembly  May, 2016

 This week’s World Health Assembly included two closely linked hot topics: how WHO should interact with businesses and venture philanthropies and whether trade should come before health when tackling the marketing of baby foods and formulas. During a full week of behind-closed-doors negotiations on both topics, the United States and rich producer countries in the EU and New Zealand, pushed the interests of their corporations: opposing the adoption of effective safeguards to protect WHO’s independence, integrity and credibility and attempting to sabotage the adoption of a new WHO Guidance on baby foods.for more information please Read more


  • PRESS RELEASE: US trade lobby ignores global health concerns

69th World Health Assembly 26th May, 2016

At this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva – three hot topics are on the agenda: baby foods, WHO’s interactions with Business and chronic diseases. IBFAN has been following these issues for decades and is alarmed to hear how the United States, backed by other producer countries in the EU and New Zealand – has been attempting to sabotage a new Guidance proposed by WHO.[1]

The Guidance aims to help countries tackle the inappropriate marketing of baby foods and formulas – markets that are rapidly expanding. [2]Worldwide sales of formula milks are almost US$45 billion, and likely to rise by 55% to US$70 billion by 2019.   Formulas targeting older babies – looking just like formulas for newborns – are being aggressively and deceptively promoted and account for 50% of absolute growth.[3] for more information please Read more


  • World Health Organization’s independence and integrity are non-negotiable

Civil Society Statement 60

Geneva, 24 May 2016 –Civil Society Organizations and Social Movements call upon WHO Member States not to compromise the independence, integrity and credibility of the WHO while negotiating on Framework on Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA). A joint statement signed by 59 organization’s called on Member States to put in place a robust framework to protect WHO from the undue influence of venture philanthropy foundations with large conflicted investments, private sector and private sector influenced NGOs. Further, the statement calls for a comprehensive conflict of interest policy. for more information please Read more


  • Joint news release WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN  Laws to protect breastfeeding inadequate in most countries   

GENEVA/NEW YORK, 9 May 2016 – A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding.  Of the 194 countries analysed in the report, 135 have in place some form of legal measure related to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant resolutions adopted by the World Health Assembly (the Code). This is up from 103 in 2011, when the last WHO analysis was done. However, only 39 countries have laws that enact all provisions of the Code—a slight increase from 37 in 2011.for more information please Read more

CLICK HERE for web stream of the launch event

CLICK HERE for press release on WHO website

CLICK HERE for the new report


  • As Nestle boasts of infant formula sales growth, Botswana police file charges over aggressive marketing, while Tesco puts formula with “excessive protein” on clearance sale in breach of UK law  18 February 2016

 Nestle today launched its latest full-year results, reporting 4.2% organic growth, stating: “Infant formula including growing-up milks, delivered good growth”. This growth comes from systematic violations of baby milk marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly, according to the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), which monitors company policies and practices around the world. This same week, the Botswana Gazette reported that police are filing charges against Nestle for breaking national marketing regulations in its targeting of health workers. Read more


  • European Parliament votes for big reductions in sugar in baby foods and prohibitions on labelling at too early  an age.  

20th January 2016

The European Parliament today voted today –  393 votes in favour, 305 votes against –  to reject draft EU rules on baby food, which would have allowed baby foods to contain high levels of sugar and products to be labelled for use from 4 months of age. The European Commission  (the EU’s civil service) now has to bring the regulations into line with the sugar recommendations from the World Health Organisation  (WHO) and the World Health Assembly’s requirement that baby foods are not marketed for use before 6 months of age (WHA) and resubmit them (1). CLICK HERE for the motion adopted Read more 

  • Civil Society warns of corporate takeover of the World Health Organisation, World Health Organisation (WHO), Geneva, 26/01/2016

CLICK HERE for PDF version: FENSA PR 26.1.16 for more information please Read more