I am a Bosom Buddy breastfeeding peer supporter and after doing this for four and a half years I have noticed the effect the advertising of follow on milks and toddler milks, both direct and indirect, has on the choices that families make about feeding their babies. Families are also confused over formula products and the different health claims that are made.
I have seen a December 2011 press release on Baby Milk Action regarding MEPs call for stricter controls on the marketing and safety of baby milks and foods –http://www.info.babymilkaction.org/pressrelease/pressrelease23dec11
I think that these controls will be beneficial to infants and families in both making formula milks as regulated as possible and ending misleading advertising.
I found further information on the blog of Glenis Willmott MEP, labour leader in Europe, regarding the proposals to put the health of babies before the interests of the baby food manufacturers. http://www.gleniswillmott.eu/stopping-loopholes-for-advertising-formula-milk/
I contacted Glenis’s office for further information and was told that by individuals contacting their MEP’s they were more likely to be at the vote and to vote to stop the loop holes. As a member of NCT and Baby Milk action I thought that if I contacted different Breastfeeding and Parenting charities they could consider the issue. By contacting their members on their databases to inform them of this important vote they could ask them to e-mail their MEP’s as the more e-mails the MEP’s receive about how important the issues are for child health, the more likely they are to vote for stricter controls.
The deadline for amendments is 18 January with a vote in Committee on 29 February. It is scheduled for a vote in plenary first reading on 17 April. Therefore, there are approximately three weeks for individuals to contact their MEP’s so people need to be contacted as soon as possible to give them time to send their e-mails.
Please contact me if you require any further information.
This is an easy way to contact your MEP – just type in your postcode and you can do it online – http://www.writetothem.com/