Government steps up efforts to promote breastfeeding

The message coming from the government and the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) today is that breast milk is definitely the best health option for newborn babies.

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As part of this campaign, a crackdown has been ordered on baby milk manufacturers who claim that formula milk ‘helps growth and the immune system’ or that it’s ‘closer than ever to breast milk’ – even though these claims may be accurate – because they are seen to undermine breastfeeding.

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As a result, the packs and marketing material for leading brands such as SMA, Farleys, Cow & Gate and Aptamil will have to change. Supermarkets have also been ordered not to promote infant formula milk with price reductions.

Both the Department of Health and FSA actively encourage breastfeeding. However, only 22% of UK mums are still breastfeeding their baby at six months, which is one of the poorestrecords in Europe.

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What do you think? Is the government right to ban these claims for fear they undermine breastfeeding, or will it simply make life harder for mums who don’t or can’t breastfeed?

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