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Update on infant formula legislation

  • Last modified date:
    11 January 2008

Updated EU legislation on infant formula and follow-on formula comes into force in the UK today (11 January 2008).

The new regulations, announced by the Department of Health and the FSA in November, introduce stricter controls on labelling and advertising of all types of formulae to ensure that breastfeeding is not undermined by the marketing and promotion of such products.

This legislation will help parent/carers to clearly tell the difference between infant formula, which can be used for the first 6 months (and beyond) and follow on formula, which is only to be used after the age of 6 months.

Earlier this week, and two days before the legislation was due to come into force, the Agency received a legal challenge from the Infant and Dietetic Foods Association (IDFA), who represents baby milk manufacturers, seeking to postpone the introduction of this legislation and applying for a judicial review.

IDFA and some of its members are 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 end of 2009.

Gill Fine, Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health at the FSA says:

“The UK Government’s priority is to ensure that infant and follow-on formulae are clearly labelled so that parents/carers who wish to use these products can do so in the correct way and to ensure that there is no confusion between them. 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 3 years should decide at the last minute to apply for a judicial review.”

We are awaiting notification of the date of hearing of the court proceedings and we will provide updates when possible.

For information about the Regulations go to:

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