Times Up for Baby Food Distributors/Manufactures

26/09/2011 16:07

The Consumer Council is pleased to note that more than a year’s grace period given to baby food traders to comply with the respective Regulation in place will soon be over.

Marketing Controls (Foods for Infants and Young Children) Regulations 2010 will come into effect from September 30th 2011. It was supposed to be fully in force from May 1st, 2010 but this was delayed as distributors had asked for extension of time from the Health Ministry.

There should be no excuse from the distributors to comply with the Regulations. In the past, the Council noted shortage of infant formula in the market as a result of non-compliance of labeling requirements causing inconvenience to parents.  Some parents in Suva had to buy infant milk from Savusavu to deal with shortages.

The Regulations prohibits the promotion, marketing and advertising of all commercial infant formula, drinks and food products, including feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers. The Regulation also prohibits any form of sponsorship from companies producing breast milk substitutes, related equipment and complementary foods.

Distributors and manufactures of infant formula and baby foods have played enough hide and seek game with the Government and the consumers. It is time for them to take this social responsibility and comply with the standard procedure.

All commercial infant formula, drinks and food products, and feeding appliances that do not comply with the labeling requirement of the Regulations will be confiscated.

The Council together with the Ministry of Health officials will closely monitor the compliance to the Regulation.

The Council urges the consumers to be vigilant in this area and to alert the respective authorities if retailers or food companies fail to comply with the Regulation.