Law banning baby formula marketing takes effect

Alfie · 1 · 70

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Offline Alfie

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The Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act of 2017, which bans all advertising for infant formula milk as well as other food products for infants and young children, will take effect today (Sept 8).

It forbids sales promotion activities such as giving discount coupons, free samples, gifts and prizes, which companies use to attract customers. Medical, nursing and public health personnel will also be bound by the act to support, promote and protect breastfeeding. Violators will face stiff fines.

The law provides control of advertising for milk substitutes and other food products for infants from new-born to 12 months and for children between 12 months and 3 years of age.  Producers, importers or sellers of infant formula milk are prohibited from:

Advertising food products for children in a way that may cause people to believe they are good for infants;
* Giving discount coupons, free samples, gifts, prizes and samples, either directly or indirectly;
* Offering gifts, money, or interests to public health personnel;
* Organsing a meeting, training or a seminar on food for infants and children for public health service agencies or their personnnel; and
* Donating food for infants or children to public health service agencies or their personnel, except to people who are sick of specific diseases or those with physical abnormalities.

Those who advertise products in violation of  this law are liable to a jail term of not exceeding one year and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or an additional fine of not more than 10,000 baht per day until the violation has ended.

Dr Daniel Kertesz, the WHO Representative to Thailand, recently said the Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act of 2017 shows a strong intention of the Thai government to protect the health and development of Thai children.  The law has made Thailand one of the 135 countries worldwide to have a law to protect breastfeeding.

'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'