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What Information Can Baby Formula Companies Provide?

Manufacturers and importers of infant formula, otherwise known as baby formula, may be bound to some very important codes of marketing and advertising.

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Australia’s marketing and advertising code is called the MAIF Agreement, a voluntary self-regulatory local adaptation of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (1981). MAIF is an acronym for “Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas” and sets out the appropriate way in which breast milk substitutes (specifically infant formula from 0-12 months) can be marketed.

The aim of the MAIF Agreement is to ensure safe and optimal nutrition is provided to babies at all times. This means the protection and promotion of breastfeeding as the ideal source of nutrition for all babies, and the proper use of infant formula, as the only safe and suitable alternative if breast milk is not available to a baby.

Under the MAIF Agreement, infant formula manufacturers and importers who are signatories have committed to very specific ways of marketing these products and providing information. This explains why you may find there is not a large amount of information on labels and even throughout this website available directly to consumers. The types of information infant formula manufacturers provide on the label of products are things such as:

  • Ingredients list
  • Nutrition Information Panel
  • Preparation instructions
  • Safe handling of baby formula, including how to sterilise baby bottles
  • What protein source is used
  • Storage instructions

Infant formula manufacturers and importers provide detailed information to health care professionals, to enable them to help you make an informed decision about the most appropriate feeding options for your baby. We would encourage you to consult the expertise of your health care professional for individual advice.

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