Get involved in the 2016 WHO Code Day of Action

Have you ever seen those adorable, miniature ice cream tubs? Oh, are they darling! And weighing in at just under four ounces, they’re the perfect dose of chocolate-y decadence. Certainly not enough to share though, so the other day I hid behind a house plant in hopes that my girls–busy coloring– wouldn’t swoop in on my treat.  As I indulged, I casually scanned the tiny packaging. Serving size: one container. Ingredients: cream, skim milk, sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, egg yolks. Gluten free. Then, to my horror, in miniscule print was the name of a company I attempt to boycott at all costs. I guilt-fully gulped the last, melty spoonful I’d managed to scrape from the bottom. How could I have missed this?! I thought.

Infant formula companies’ predatory marketing harms families and babies each and every day, which is why I’ve chosen to attempt to boycott the offenders. For over three decades, since The World Health Organization adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes on May 21, 1981, these companies have committed and continue to commit grotesque violations of The Code. (Read Best for Babes’ The Code– Why Does it Matter To You? if you’re wondering why it matters to you.)

On May 21, Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert will host the 2016 WHO Code Day of Action. Here are the organization’s suggestions on how to take part:

  1. Take photos or videos holding a homemade sign. “Protect Parents and Babies- Keep Marketing out of Healthcare Facilities” or “Follow the WHO Code” are suggestions. Include your kids and show it if you’re expecting!
  1. Post your photos on THIS event page . (By posting photos to this page, you agree to let us publish elsewhere, including company’s pages)
  1. Post photos/videos/personal messages to the pages of Code violators. Read more here:

Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert includes this note: “This message and the Code are targeted at the MARKETING of these items, not the use of them! We are fighting against the unethical and aggressive marketing of these items, which undermine parent’s infant feeding goals! For more clarification:

I’ll be taking part with these images.


I’ve also sent letters to pediatric clinics in my area suggesting the removal of infant formula marketing. Lastly, I’ll be researching a new mini ice cream tub distributor.

More on the Code: Last week, WHO, UNICEF and IBFAN presented the first joint global report on the status of the Code in 194 countries. The report presents the legal status of the Code, including to what extent Code provisions have been incorporated in national legal measures, and provides information on the efforts made by countries to monitor and enforce the Code through the establishment of formal mechanisms. The report and video footage is available here.

First Steps Nutrition Trust published Scientific and factual?’ A review of breastmilk substitutes advertising to healthcare professionals, a document that looks at the evidence given to support advertising claims about formula milk, “revealing a worryingly common use of misleading and unscientific information contrary to international, EU and national regulations over formula milk advertising.” More here.

You can sign Public Citizen’s petition telling infant formula makers to stop using hospitals as marketing tools here.
Will you join in on the cause?

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