The manufacturers of formula milks in the UK have committed to adhere to a new Code of Practice. The Infant Nutrition Industry (INI) Code, developed by the British Specialist Nutrition Association, whose members include Danone, Nestlé, Abbott, HiPP and Mead Johnson, is designed to shed more light on how the UK infant nutrition industry operates and the high standards that can be expected from it. The Code will be regulated by a new, independent Code of Practice Authority (INICPA) which will investigate any complaints made and have the power to require any company found to be in breach of the INI Code to take appropriate steps to correct it.
The Code demonstrates the infant nutrition industry’s commitment to responsible marketing and transparency as per the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes 1981, and covers areas of industry practice including product quality, composition, safety, sales, marketing and clinical research.
Director-General of the British Specialist Nutrition Association Declan O’Brien said: “The INI Code has been introduced to bring a clarity and uniformity of standards across the infant nutrition businesses. It has been modelled on the industry codes of other highly regulated industries, such as the ABPI Code of Practice for the pharmaceutical industry. This reflects the fact that the infant nutrition industry is one of the most tightly regulated food sectors in the world. Any complaint made against a company under the INI Code will be regarded as a serious matter both by that company and by the industry as a whole. The INI Code of Practice Authority (INICPA) will require appropriate corrective action to be taken by any company found to be in breach of the INI Code. In addition, the outcome of complaints will also be published on the BSNA website.”
Signatory companies will have three months to ensure that all their practices are in line with the new requirements. The complaints procedure will go live on 1 February 2019.
The full Code and the summary are available from the BSNA website: https://bsna.co.uk/news/2018/infant-formula-industry-in-the-uk-sets-down-new-code-of-practice