The Infant Nutrition Council’s new Code of Practice for the Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand has been greenlighted by The Commerce Commission.
Previous marketing restrictions applied to products targeted at children up to six months of age, but the new Code of Practice will see the same restrictions applied to products intended for children up to 12 months old. The INC describes the authorisation of the new conditions as a victory for common sense. “The Commission’s decision underlines exactly what the industry is trying to do – put the health of babies and mothers first,” said Jan Carey, Chief Executive of the Infant Nutrition Council.
Following the change, restrictions will apply to the advertising and marketing of products, as well as the distribution of free samples to pregnant women and caregivers of children up to 12 months of age. “While the restrictions would be likely to lessen competition between infant formula makers, the improved health outcomes that would flow from it would outweigh the detriments arising from the lessening of competition,” said Carey.
The health of both mothers and babies sit at the forefront of these changes, the stance aligns closely with the Ministry of Health’s nutritional guidelines for infants and is seen as a positive step towards public health.