January to July 2016
Starting July 2016, IBFAN-ICDC is reviving its twice-yearly newsletter in electronic format, to keep our constituents and supporters informed of current issues and activities. IBFAN-ICDC previously decided to end its Legal Update newsletter, and use our website instead for providing updates. After a two-year hiatus, the Legal Update is back as we feel that a periodic newsletter is still the most effective way to document our activities and inform our constituents of the latest Code-related issues. Welcome back to our Legal Update e-newsletter. 

In This Issue
  • Latest WHA Resolution: Scope and other ambiguous areas clarified for Code implementation
  • Launch of the first WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN joint global report
  • Release of the IBFAN-ICDC Blue SOCC
  • Capacity building in Indonesia and Sri Lanka
  • Latest publications: reports on Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, and Russia; special Focus report in Mead Johnson; and update on HIV and Infant Feeding in Protecting Infant Health
Release of the 2016 Edition of the State of the Code by Country Chart (the "Blue SOCC") 
The Blue SOCC was made available at the 69th World Health Assembly, 23 – 28 May, 2016
Mike Brady of Baby Milk Action announced the Blue SOCC data was being used in the WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN joint report at the WHO press conference (see below)
Produced by ICDC periodically, the Blue SOCC tracks the status of Code implementation worldwide. It is an ongoing status report on national implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions (“the International Code”). For the first time, the data maintained by ICDC that goes into the Blue SOCC is being used in the WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN Joint Global Report - Marketing of breastmilk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code Status Report 2016. Findings in the Joint WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN Report and the Blue SOCC are harmonised, but to preserve the unique features of the Blue SOCC, IBFAN-ICDC has maintained the 9 different categories we have allocated to countries in the SOCC. Read more
IBFAN-ICDC Provided Technical Support in First WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN Joint Global Report
The report reveals that few governments have implemented the Code comprehensively
IBFAN-ICDC Legal Advisor Yeong Joo Kean checking data of the report against ICDC's
The first WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN Joint Global Report - Marketing of breastmilk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code Status Report 2016,for which IBFAN-ICDC provided technical support, was launched on 9 May at the Geneva Press Club. The report, which uses data maintained by IBFAN-ICDC that goes into its Blue SOCC, presents the legal status of the Code in WHO Member States including information on the few national efforts to monitor and enforce the Code through formal mechanisms. Representing IBFAN-ICDC at the launch, Mike Brady of Baby Milk Action highlighted that companies will relentlessly defend their profits and political will is needed for more effective Code implementation, monitoring and enforcement. “Companies grow sales through aggressive marketing. Where they cannot get away with this, such as India, sales remain static... Regulations cannot just exist on paper; they have to be monitored and enforced to be effective”, Mike Brady said, reminding audience that IBFAN started its monitoring activities even before the adoption of the Code by WHA in 1981. Read more
Latest WHA Resolution [WHA 69.9] 
Brings Clarity on Ambiguous Areas of International Controversy, including Scope & Cross-Promotion Tactics
IBFAN-ICDC's Programme Manager Constance Ching delivering a statement at the 69th WHA - welcoming the clarifications put forth in the Guidance meanwhile warning Member States of its limitations
In May 2016, six years after the initial call for advice on ending inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children, Resolution WHA69.9 (2016) was adopted at the 69th World Health Assembly. The Resolution urges Member States to implement the Guidance on Ending the Inappropriate Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children, and manufacturers and distributors of foods for infants to adhere to it.
For a number of years, IBFAN has been concerned over the aggressive marketing of growing-up milks, cross-promotion tactics, pervasive “hard-to-regulate” promotion that takes place through social media, and conflicts of interest brought on by sponsorship and partnership. Although the Guidance has its weaknesses, it provides additional clarity on these ambiguous areas that have been the subject of international controversy. 

Areas that are clarified include:
  • follow-up milks and growing-up milks are covered by the Code and should be treated as breastmilk substitutes when implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA Resolutions
  • no cross-promotion to promote breastmilk substitutes through promotion of complementary foods
  • messages that must be included in promotion of complementary foods and messages that are prohibited
  • practices that constitute conflicts of interest and how to prevent and deal with them in the health system
  • activities across all communication channels and media outlets should be in accordance with the guidance recommendations
The Guidance provides seven recommendations with the aim to end inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children; to promote, protect and support breastfeeding; to prevent obesity and non-communicable diseases, and to ensure caregivers are receiving clear and accurate information. IBFAN-ICDC has incorporated areas that are clarified in this Resolution into its most recent capacity building training, IBFAN-ICDC has incorporated areas that are clarified in this Resolution into its most recent capacity building training, the Annotated Compilation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant WHA resolutions. and the revised Model Law (available soon). Read more
The Amazing Code Race in Jakarta, Indonesia
Participants learnt how to think on their feet to get information and to collect
the necessary evidence
For the first time ever, IBFAN-ICDC’s training incorporated an element of competition for participants. Put together at the 11th hour to spice up a planned field trip on the last day of a capacity building workshop, the inaugural “Amazing Code Race” was held in Jakarta on 28 January 2016. The race, a brainchild of leaders of the local IBFAN group, Asosiasi Ibu Menyusui Indonesia (AIMI), took inspiration from the popular TV series. The capacity building workshop which ran from 25-28 January 2016 at the Kemang Medical Care Hospital is organised jointly by AIMI, Save the Children, World Vision, Sentra Laktasi & Muhammadiyah for their staff.  Selected health professionals and government officials were also invited by the organisers. Read more
IBFAN-ICDC Revisited the Code in Sri Lanka
The continuation of IBFAN-ICDC activities in Sri Lanka was a long time coming and very timely as the Sri Lanka Code is being reviewed by the Ministry of Health
With the support from the WHO Country Office, IBFAN-ICDC consultants were in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 27 June to 1 July to conduct a Workshop on the Monitoring and Enforcement of the Sri Lankan Code for the Promotion, Protection & Support of Breastfeeding and Marketing of Designated Products. This capacity building exercise for government officials of the Ministry of Health was an opportunity for IBFAN-ICDC to revisit its past work on the Code in the country.
Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes following its adoption in 1981. The initial national measure that was first adopted in 1983 and amended in 2002 was reviewed and commented upon by ICDC, and there was follow-up work carried out in the form of training and monitoring in 1990 and 1998. As with all countries, there was change of guards in infant and young child feeding, and collaboration with IBFAN-ICDC trickled down to training of a few officials and NGO workers in the new millennium. Read more
Monitoring in Afrique Francophone
Reports (in French) on Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Niger; thanks to the support from IBFAN-GIFA and the collaboration of IBFAN Afrique.

What Are They Doing in Russia?
With support from the tireless monitoring effort of an independent group MilkMama in Russia, IBFAN-ICDC is happy announce the first Look What They Are Doing In RUSSIA

More on "Look What They Are Doing" Series (Monitoring Reports by Theme and Country)

Mead Johnson Promotion to the Public
Mead Johnson puts products in your shopping cart even before you think of buying any.

More on "ICDC Focus" Series (Monitoring Reports on Topical Matters).

Code Violations Yet to be Published Anywhere Else
Spot, record, and report – view latest Code Monitoring Reports.

HIV & Breastfeeding
Courtesy of IBFAN Asia, an update on HIV and Infant Feeding (extracted from IBFAN Asia’s Position Statement on HIV and Infant Feeding 2015) has been added to our publication Protecting Infant Health.

Annotated Code & Resolutions 2016 Edition

The 3rd edition of our annotated compilation of the International Code of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions was launched in January. This latest edition, released to coincide with the New Year, contains the full Code and all relevant WHA resolutions, including the latest 2014 WHA decision on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and 2016 WHA resolution. Each document comes with a brief summary of the main points and key wording is highlighted with underlined text. 


With a focus on implementation of the International Code worldwide, IBFAN-ICDC was founded in 1985. IBFAN-ICDC 
  • organised over 60 Code training courses from 1991 to 2015, trained over 1832 government officials and NGO workers from 148 countries 
  • training had a positive impact on Code implementation in 77 of these countries 
  • collects, analyses, and evaluates national laws and codes and other regulatory measures
  • conducts Code monitoring 
  • periodically publishes handbooks and guidelines on Code implementation; State of the Code by Country report, and various monitoring reports. See all publications
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