Stronger regulation of the marketing of infant formula called for

News for New Parents: Australian Government Calls for Stronger Regulation of Infant Formula Marketing

The government released a report about how infant formula is marketed here, and it’s a big deal for families with babies and toddlers.

You might not have heard of it, but there’s a voluntary code called the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula Agreement (MAIF Agreement). It’s supposed to regulate how formula companies advertise their products, but the report says it’s not doing enough to protect families with very young children.

The report suggests Australia needs stronger rules to stop formula companies from using tricky tactics to promote their products. This means better laws with real consequences to keep them in check.

Groups like the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) and the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Australia (WBTi) are supporting this report. They’ve been waiting for it since 2023, and they agree that we need stricter rules to protect parents from misleading marketing.

The report also recommends keeping a closer eye on how babies are fed across Australia. The last big study on this was back in 2010, so it’s definitely time for an update.

But there’s more to be done! The report doesn’t go as far as some would like, in making sure you have all the information you need to make smart choices about feeding your baby. There’s a global set of guidelines called the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes that the report doesn’t fully cover.

Also there’s talk about excluding toddler milks  (for kids between 1 and 3 years old) from these new rules. That’s got a lot of people concerned, especially since there’s been a lot of chatter in the news lately about whether toddler milk is really necessary.

We think it’s important that retailers follow these new rules too. Otherwise, there could be a gap between what’s expected and what’s actually happening in stores.

Let’s celebrate this step towards better protection for breastfeeding and the health of our little Aussies. The Australian Government wants to make sure you have the best information and support as you navigate this exciting—and sometimes challenging—journey of parenthood.

Information provided by Australian Breastfeeding Association