Coronavirus: NAFDAC warns companies over breast milk substitutes

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned companies involved in donation or marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS).

The agency warned them to keep to the World Health Organisation (WHO) code.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, Director General (DG) of NAFDAC, said this in a statement on Thursday.

Adeyeye stated that substitutes for infants should not be provided through health workers.

She added that breast milk products must not display company brand as the interventions was not meant for brand promotion.

“Companies that market foods for infants and young children should not provide free products, samples or reduced-price foods or infants (below 6 months old) to families through health workers or health facilities.

“They can only provide such products as supplies distributed through government or officially sanctioned health Programmes. WHO International Code of Marketing of BMS requires that products distributed in such programmes should not display company brands.

“The unbranded packaging is to focus on the need to support the response to the COVID- 19 pandemic, where necessary, in terms of infant and young child feeding. This will discourage the use of the pandemic as a platform for brand promotion,” she said.

Adeyeye told infant food manufacturers, distributors and NGOs wishing to make foods for infants and young children available for distribution to adhere to the clarification provided above and approach NAFDAC for the necessary guidance.

She said the importance of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and the continued protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding during the COVID- 19 pandemic cannot be over-emphasised.

“UNICEF for the guidance titled Breastfeeding during the COVID- 19 pandemic’ available at: http://www.UNICEF.org/eap/breastfeeding-during-covid-19”, the NAFDAC boss said.

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