The WHO code, or better known as the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, was designed by the World Health Organisation to help prevent predatory marketing tactics from artificial infant milk manufacturers that directly impact the “choices” new mothers are faced with when it comes to infant feeding.

Under the Code, the following stipulations apply:

  • No advertising of breast milk substitutes to families.
  • No free samples or supplies in the health care system.
  • No promotion of products through health care facilities, including no free or low-cost formula.
  • No contact between marketing personnel and mothers.
  • No gifts or personal samples to health workers.
  • No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the labels or the product.
  • Information to health workers should be scientific and factual only.
  • All information on artificial feeding, including labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and the costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
  • Unsuitable products should not be promoted for babies.
  • All products should be of high quality and take account of the climate and storage conditions of the country where they are used.
  • No advertising of products under the scope of the Code to the public.

Products “under the scope of the code” include breastmilk substitutes, including infant formula; other milk products, food and beverages, including bottle-fed complimentary foods, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification, for use as a partial or total replacement of breastmilk; feeding bottles and teats. So basically, infant formula, follow-up formula, bottles and nipples.

Exclusive Pumpers South Africa strives to adhere to the WHO Code.

You can download the CODE here.