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Health department imposes strict regulations on infant foodstuffs

The DoH has published its regulations on “Foodstuffs for infants and young children” in Government Gazette Number 35100 on 2 March 2012. The regulations impose restrictions on the sale of infant formula that is not manufactured, labelled and packed according to the stipulations in the regulation.

These stipulations include, inter alia: a prohibition against the use of pictures or photographs on labels, other than those necessary to show correct methods of preparation; requirements as to nutritional and composition information; the product brand or logo may not contain pictures of infants, young children or any other humans; a prohibition against the use of hydrogenated fat in infant formula; clear labelling of the age range for which the product is intended; clear messaging on the label that “breast milk is best” and that the product is not sterile; and instructions on sterilisation processes as well as other information related to safe formula-feeding practices.

Similar requirements are imposed in relation to complementary foods such as cereals and other products marketed as suitable for infant feeding. Bottles, feeding cups and teats may not be sold unless their packaging includes a statement that breast milk is best; proper cleaning instructions; warnings on the health hazards associated with the use of unsterilized bottles. Further restrictions include the prohibition of advertising formula and feeding utensils. Convictions under the regulations carry a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six to twenty four months.

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Click here to view the infant feeding regulations.