Consultation on formula promotion bill

An MP campaigning to tighten up the law surrounding the marketing of formula milk has opened a consultation for consumers, campaigners and health professionals.

Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, was recently given leave of the House of Commons to bring forward her Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill. Now the MP is asking interested parties to submit thoughts and proposals for consideration before 9am on Monday 9th January 2017. After that she will move to drafting the Bill, which will be published early in the new year.

The Bill seeks to make provision for the control of advertising and promotion of feeding products for babies and children. The MP intends for the Bill to establish a body – completely independent of industry – which would regularly safety test formula milks and other infant feeding products, and potentially adjudicate on the veracity of claims made by companies as to the ingredients and nutritional value of such products. The Bill aims also to include provision for stiffer financial penalties for formula companies which publish scientifically inaccurate and misleading claims.

Those interested in responding to the consultation are asked to fill out a short consultation form.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I have been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes of so many people who have a wealth of knowledge around infant feeding. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit my website, fill out the consultation form, and let me know their thoughts as to what might potentially be helpful to include in the Bill.

“Taking a Ten Minute Rule Bill all the way through to being put on the statute books is a tall order, so I am keen to give the Bill the best possible chance of success. I am conscious that if the Bill is drafted sensibly and pragmatic enough, then there’s every chance that the Government might consider adopting it.”

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