Broad Coalition Opposes Formula Marketing

Multiple groups, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agree that formula marketing has no place in hospitals.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

The AAP states that pediatricians should “Promote hospital policies and procedures that facilitate breastfeeding. Work actively toward eliminating hospital policies and practices that discourage breastfeeding (eg, promotion of infant formula in hospitals including infant formula discharge packs and formula discount coupons…).”

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. Feb 2005;115(2):496-506

Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS)

The Massachusetts Medical Society “Supports inclusion of strong language that discourages hospitals from marketing the use of formula and thereby undermining the efforts of physicians, nurses and other health care providers to make breastfeeding the preferred method of feeding newborns.”

Summary of Public Testimony 105 CMR 130.000 et seq: Hospital Licensure Regulations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

According to the CDC, “The effect of the marketing practices of commercial competitors on breastfeeding is of particular concern because of its disproportionately negative impact on mothers in the United States who are known to other¬wise be at high risk for early termination of breastfeeding, including those who are primiparous (first-time mothers), have less formal education, are nonwhite, or are ill postpartum”

Shealy KR, Li R, Benton-Davis S, Grummer-Strawn L. The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005

GAO- The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)

“Studies have shown that some infant formula marketing, particularly hospital discharge packs, may discourage breastfeeding.”

Breastfeeding: Some Strategies Used to Market Infant Formula May Discourage Breastfeeding; State Contracts Should Better Protect against Misuse of WIC Name GAO-06-282 February 8, 2006

The World Health Organization (WHO)

The WHO states that “No facility of a health care system should be used for the purpose of promoting infant formula”, and “Facilities of health care systems should not be used for the distribution of material provided by a manufacturer or distributor [of infant formula]”

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

The Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

DHHS concludes that “The marketing of infant formula negatively affects breastfeeding”; and that being “given [an] infant formula kit [is] strongly discouraging” to breastfeeding initiation.

HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding, Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, 2000.

For a comprehensive list of formula marketing Code violations, please see the following text: Selling Out Mothers and Babies; Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes in the USA (2002) by Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC

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