Is the WHO Creating Unnecessary Confusion Over Breast Milk Substitutes?

Stewart Forsyth (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A recent statement by WHO that "breast milk substitutes should be understood to include any milks …that are specifically marketed for feeding infants and young children up to the age of 3 years" differs significantly from the definition in the International Code which states "a breast milk substitute is any food being marketed or otherwise presented as a partial or total replacement for breast milk, whether or not suitable for that purpose." The new interpretation, which lacks consultation and endorsement, is also ambiguous, with the boundaries between breast milk substitutes and complementary foods being blurred during the first 3 years of life. The logical definitions of breast milk substitutes and complementary foods contained within the Code should be maintained and inappropriate promotion of foods and fluids for infants and young children should be addressed through effective regulation of composition and labelling standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-762
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date19 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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