August 18, 2005
This coming October 15 and 16, yet another Canadian baby show plans to break the International Code and facilitate the direct promotion of formula to new and expecting parents. The Little Wonders Baby and Toddler Expo in Barrie lists both Mead Johnson (Enfalac) and Abbot Ross laboratories, two of the world’s biggest formula producers, as exhibitors. Presumably they will be pushing their product and handing out free samples in direct violation of the International Code. Please write to the organizers of the show to let them know that if they truly have the best interests of “little wonders” at heart then they will sever their ties with the baby food industry. Please alter the attached letter from INFACT Canada or write your own.
INFACT letter to Barrie Baby Expo:
August 16, 2005.
Dear Ms. Welbelove,
It has come to the attention of INFACT Canada that the Little Wonders Baby and Toddler Expo planned for the Barrie Molson Centre on October 15th and 16th, 2005, is allowing formula companies to have booths and sponsorship at the show. We would like to make you aware of the following articles of the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes which prohibit this kind of direct promotion of infant formula, bottles and teats to the public. Specifically,
“There should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public of products within the scope of this Code.” (5.1)
“Manufacturers and distributors should not provide, directly or indirectly, to pregnant women, mothers or members of their families, samples within the scope of this Code. (5.2)
“Marketing personnel, in their business capacity, should not seek direct or indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and young children.” (5.5)
Should you allow formula companies to exhibit, sponsor or hand out promotional material and samples your company will be in direct violation of the International Code, a document that was designed to protect a mother’s right to informed and unbiased feeding choices, and a baby’s right to the highest attainable health. There are numerous risks associated with the use of infant formula which include reduced cognitive development and increased risk of:
Given the health impacts of formula feeding, it is imperative that the articles of the International Code be upheld; doing otherwise is irresponsible and endangers the health of our children.
We respectfully request that you do your part in safeguarding the wellbeing of Barrie’s mothers and children by adhering to the tenets of the International Code and severing your ties with formula companies that seek to contravene it.
We look forward to your response on this matter.