NAFDAC urges compliance with breast milk substitute marketing code
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for compliance with the Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS) Code, saying that its failure is affecting infant nutrition.
The Assistant Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate, NAFDAC, Lagos, Mrs. Ngozi Okeke, made the call at a one-day sensitisation workshop, organised by Fhi360- Alive and Thrive Team, on the topic, “Compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.”
Okeke said that NAFDAC is charged with the responsibility of implementing BMS National Regulations, through coordination of activities, monitoring and enforcing compliance with the BMS regulations, and the International Code of BMS in Nigeria
In her remarks, the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye said: “The importance of appropriate infant and young child feeding and its resultant effect on national economic development cannot be over-emphasised.
According to her, the preamble of the international code of marketing of BMS, World Health Organisation (WHO), GENEVA, 1981 states: “In view of the vulnerability of infants in the early months of life, and the risks involved in inappropriate feeding practices, including the unnecessary and improper use of breast milk substitutes, the marketing of breast milk substitutes requires special treatment, which makes usual marketing practices unsuitable for these products”
“However, there are various challenges hampering its actualisation. One of such challenges is the continued violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) and national regulations by manufacturers of BMS products.
“No gifts of articles or utensils, which may promote the use of breast milk substitutes or bottle feeding to pregnant women or mothers of infants and young children.
“Marketing personnel, in their business capacity, should not seek direct or indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women, or with mothers of infants and young children. Health care facility should not be used for the promotion of products.”
She further emphasised that labels should be designed to provide the necessary information about the appropriate use of the product so as not to discourage breastfeeding.