Who we are

The Baby Feeding Law Group UK was founded by Baby Milk Action in 1997 and has been working for over 20 years to strengthen UK baby feeding laws in line with UN recommendations. We are a group of organisations working together to protect infant, young child and maternal health by ending marketing practices which commercialise infant feeding, mislead consumers and threaten breastfeeding. While our aim is to protect breastfeeding, we do not seek to limit the accessibility of safe and appropriate infant formulas for those who need or want them. Rather, we want to enable parents to make informed decisions about how they feed their babies, including where necessary, their formula choice and use. The BFLG UK is a part of a network including BFLG Ireland.

 

 

What we do

We advocate for government and policy-makers to implement and enforce marketing laws that protect infant and young child feeding, and to strengthen these laws in line with the more comprehensive ‘International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes’, also referred to as the Code.  We also seek to provide training on current regulations and the Code to which we aspire. In addition, and to aid our advocacy, we support monitoring of violations of UK laws and the Code.

More specifically, our shared aims are as follows:

  1. To advocate for alignment of the current UK laws which relate to the marketing and safety of breastmilk substitutes (BMS), with, as a minimum, the International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, including all subsequent relevant WHA resolutions.

  2. To advocate for enforcement of the current UK laws relating to infant formula, follow on formula and infant milks which fall under the Foods for Special Medical Purposes regulations

  3. To advocate for maintenance of the minimum standards of protection currently in UK laws relating to infant formula, follow on formula, and also infant milks which fall under the ‘Foods for Special Medical Purposes’ regulations, where these are threatened (whilst understanding that these remain insufficient protection and are not in line with the Code)

  4. To offer training around the UK laws, the Code and resolutions

  5. To maintain a watching brief on threats to existing measures which promote the safe use of breastmilk substitutes

  6. To provide signposting to aid in the monitoring of violations of UK laws, and of the Code

 

What are breastmilk substitutes?

Breastmilk substitutes (BMS) include infant formula and any milks (or products that could be used to replace milks) that are specifically marketed for feeding infants and young children up to the age of 3 years, including follow-up milks, specialist milks and growing up milks. It also covers other foods and beverages promoted to be suitable for feeding a baby during the first 6 months of life when exclusive breastfeeding is recommended. This includes baby teas, juices and waters as well as foods. The term BMS also covers bottles and teats.


What are foods for special medical purposes?

Foods intended for the dietary management (under medical supervision) of individuals who suffer from certain diseases, disorders or medical conditions. These foods are intended for the exclusive or partial feeding of people whose nutritional requirements cannot be met by normal foods.


 

Conflict of Interest statement

Our members maintain or are working towards conflict of interest free work with respect to the breastmilk substitute (BMS) industry. This includes not accepting funding, gifts, donations, incentives or sponsorship from BMS companies. Read our statement here (pending).