Guidance has been launched by UNICEF to increase awareness among UK clinicians of the marketing practices of infant formula companies.
It notes that while most people are aware of aggressive marketing techniques to sell infant formula in the developing world, there is a lack of understanding that similar practices exist in the UK.
The new document – A guide for health workers to working within the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes – sets out ways formula manufacturers may seek to influence health professionals to endorse their product, for example, through using branded pens or attending sponsored study days.
Baby Friendly director Sue Ashmore, director of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, said: “Health professionals, particularly midwives and health visitors, are extremely valuable to formula companies because of their trusted status and constant access to new parents.”
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