Update on infant formula legislation
Updated European Union legislation on infant formula and follow-on formula comes into force in the UK today, the new regulations, announced by the Department of Health and the FSA in November
2007, introduce stricter controls on labelling and advertising of all types of formula to ensure that breastfeeding is not undermined by the marketing and promotion of such products.
This legislation will help parents and carers to clearly tell the difference between infant formula, which can be used for the first six months (and beyond), and follow-on formula, which is
only to be used after six months.
Earlier this week, two days before the legislation was due to come into force, a legal challenge was made by the Infant and Dietetic Foods Association (IDFA), which represents baby milk
manufacturers, seeking to postpone the introduction of this legislation and applying for a judicial review.
IDFA is challenging the date by which baby milk companies need to comply with the labelling requirements in the new legislation. They believe that the labelling rules should not come into
effect until the end of 2009.
Gill Fine, Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health at the FSA, said: ‘The Government’s priority is to ensure that infant and follow-on formula is clearly labelled so that parents and
carers who wish to use these products can do so in the correct way. That is why we were keen that these important provisions came into force as quickly as possible.
‘We are extremely surprised that companies to whom we have been talking about these regulations for almost three years should decide at the last minute to apply for a judicial review.’
The Agency is awaiting notification of the date that the court proceedings will be heard, and will provide updates when available.
See the links below for information about the Regulations and for advice on feeding options for parents or carers from the Department of Health.