Alison Thewliss MP sitting at her desk in Parliament

Formula marketing law clears first Commons hurdle

A new law to tighten up advertising of formula milk has cleared its first Commons hurdle today. MPs gave their unanimous backing to SNP MP Alison Thewliss to push ahead with her Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill, which she says will “better support all parents in the infant feeding choices they make for their children”.

The Scottish MP, who chairs Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding & Inequalities, has already secured cross-party support from MPs in the Conservatives and Labour as well as other parties in the UK Parliament. She will now take her Bill forward for second reading in Parliament in February.

Speaking from Westminster after MPs unanimously backed her bid to change the law, Alison Thewliss MP commented:

“Securing Parliamentary approval to introduce my Bill is a big step forward. I hope it will be the first step to give better support to all parents in the infant feeding choices they make for their children.

“Whether parents decide to breastfeed or bottle feed is entirely a matter for them, and I very much respect the choices families make. This is not a debate about breastfeeding versus formula milk.

“I believe it is vitally important that parents get accurate and impartial information on the contents of formula milk and the best way to prepare it safely. At present there is a worrying lack of independent scrutiny of infant and young child formula, as well as growing frustration about the industry marketing tricks and misleading claims being pushed on parents and health professionals alike.

“Misinformation on health policy never ends well and this Bill aims to seriously tighten up the behaviour of the formula industry.

“I look forward to using the coming months to consult on the contents of the Bill. I will continue working with MPs across the House to convince the Government that this should be put on the statute books to safeguard the health and wellbeing of babies and young children.”

4 thoughts on “Formula marketing law clears first Commons hurdle

  1. Anything that helps! It’s a (small) step in the right direction!
    Key is education on the facts to allow parents to make an informed choice, and up to date training for nhs staff..

  2. Thank you so much for tackling this thorny issue and for making it clear that this is not a breatmilk versus formula milk debate but it is about distinctly dodgey marketing claims. The tactics of formula milk companies are shameful and getting more sophisticated. How can parents make informed decisions when faced with a barrage of overblow claims and misinformation? Your work on this Bill is vital, I do hope you will be successful.

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