The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substituteswas adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA of the World Health Organization (WHO in 1981. The Code recommends practices to govern the marketing of breastmilk substitutes for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and ensure proper use of breastmilk substitutes if needed. The Code also includes ethical, social and economic considerations on regulating the use and marketing of breastmilk substituties and related products.
Summary of the basic rules recommended by the Code to inhibit harmful marketing practices:
  1. No advertising of breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats to the public.
  2. No free samples to mothers.
  3. No promotion of products in or through health care facilities, including donations and supply of free or low cost formula.
  4. No company representatives to contact mothers or their families.
  5. No financial inducements, gifts or personal samples to health workers. Health workers should never pass samples on to mothers.
  6. No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants on labels.
  7. Information to health workers must be scientific and factual.
  8. All information on artificial infant feeding must explain the benefits and superiority of breastfeeding, and the costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
  9. Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies.
  10. Manufacturers and distributors should comply with the Code provisions and all subsequent WHA resolutions, even if governments have not acted to implement it.

Please report any violation in hospital to QEH Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative Steering Committee Tel: 3506-8318

Queen Elzabeth Hosphital - BFH website