Botswana adopts baby-food law


Breastfeeding protection will be strengthened in Botswana with the passage of the Marketing of Foods for Infants and Young Children Regulation on 8 June 2005.




Highlights from Botswana law


1. Scope All products for feeding of infants and young children including formulas for special medical purposes and complementary foods. Also included are feeding bottles and teats, pacifiers, breast pumps, cups with spouts and other similar receptacles.


2. Mainstreaming of monitoring For the first time ever, monitors will be designated to keep track of violations over and above the usual "authorised officer" charged with implementing the law. None of these officials shall have any commercial interest in infant and young child feeding. Health workers are required to keep a "records register" of contraventions.


3. Wide definition of promotion Over and above the usual activities found in the International Code and ICDCís Model Law, Botswana also prohibits practices that create an association between companies and breastfeeding.


4. Supplies Total ban on free or low cost supplies in health care facilities. Supplies are allowed in welfare institutions under strict guidelines providing supplies are sustained and continued for as long as needed.


5. Sponsorship Botswana has an absolute ban on any kind of support or benefit, financial or otherwise, given to health facilities by baby food companies. Equipment, materials and any services which bear reference to the product/ company name and logo are prohibited.


6. Labels Pictures of infants, women, animals or toys or any symbol depicting a health advantage are disallowed. Neither are nutrition or health claims to be made with regard to nutrients that are required as essential in the composition of a particular food.


Thanks to the IBFAN Code Documentation Centre, Penang, Malaysia. 



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