On 11th November 2016, the National Legislative Assembly (“NLA”) accepted the Bill on Control in Promotion of Foods for Infants and Young Children (the “Bill”) in principles after its first reading.
The Bill was proposed to the Cabinet by the Ministry of Health and the Cabinet accepted it on 25th October 2016 before forwarding the Bill to the NLA for the final approval.
Under the Bill, among other things, advertisement in all forms for formula milk products for children up to three years old is prohibited. Giving away free samples, discount coupons and any other promotional activity to induce the purchase of an infant and young children formula are banned.
The Bill also provides that labels of the foods for infants and young children are required to clearly include the text “breastfeeding is the best.”
Dr. Siriphon Kanchana, chairwoman of the Breastfeed Centre Foundation, said that the bill does not prohibit milk formula sales, but it aims to deal with exaggerated ad claims as most of the time the claims in the ads of this kind of products are exaggerated and can mislead parents who might be tempted to ignore other methods to develop their children’s brains.
Powdered milk can have similar properties as mother’s milk by only 20%, but it has been advertised in a way that makes people think it can replace or be even better than mother’s milk, Dr Siriphon said.