The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of individuals
& organisations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding worldwide.
WABA action is based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the
Global Strategy for Infant & Young Child Feeding. WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF & an NGO
in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
Advocacy and Outreach

We know from experience that global advocacy is strengthened where there is consensus amongst network partners and individuals on the issues that the breastfeeding movement aims to advance.


WABA Advocacy and Outreach work aims to advocate for and respond to critical, urgent and emerging issues related to the targets of the Global Strategy and Innocenti Declarations, and to increase the number of other organizations and individuals who also advocate and respond to these issues.

WABA works with its core partners, ABM, IBFAN, ILCA, LLLI, and Wellstart International. Through its joint actions on key issues, WABA hopes to achieve the following outcomes:

  • increased awareness and preparedness for action on key issues
  • continued commitment and
  • increased actions

Advocacy Tools

Various stakeholders involved in breastfeeding nationally and/or regionally have to be engaged in advocacy activities particularly in development of or effecting positive change in policies and practices affecting mothers and babies. WABA and its core partners have dialogued, campaigned and developed tools to sensitise stakeholders on breastfeeding and the various key issues to bring about an enabling environment for mothers to breastfeed their babies. This is an ongoing process as new challenges come in changing realities within countries. See menu on Key Issues, Action Ideas and Resources.

Definition of Advocacy

According to the Wikipedia: Advocacy by an individual or by an advocacy group normally aim to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an asset of interest. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or poll or the 'filing of friend of the court briefs'.

Advocacy also requires good listening skills

Current News/Activity

Support Women’s Right to Breastfeed!

8 March 2015 - WABA celebrates International Women’s Day 2015: commemorating 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Discussions on this historic roadmap (which set the agenda for realizing women’s rights, signed by 189 governments in 1995) are set to take place at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) between 9-20 March in New York.

WABA Steering Committee endorsed WABA Secretariat’s collaboration with the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) and 1000 Days, on a call for“Supporting Women’s Right to Breastfeed”, in a Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59.

“The twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+20) is an opportunity to re-examine the Beijing Platform for Action and determine the progress made and gaps remaining in areas of critical concern in achieving women’s full equality and empowerment, including the right to optimal health for mothers and children” states the ‘Joint Statement to the CSW59 and Call for action’. “While breastfeeding is recognized as fundamental to child survival, nutrition and development, its importance to maternal health, protection against non-communicable diseases and contribution to environmental sustainability is not as well known. It contributes to birth spacing, and reduces the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It fosters mother-infant emotional bonds and a sense of security. It is a natural and renewable food that involves no packaging, transportation or fuel. Yet in many countries breastfeeding is neglected, known supportive interventions are under-resourced and aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes continues unchecked.” The Joint Statement also asserts that: Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is consistent with the Strategic Objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action 1995; Breastfeeding IS a Human Right; Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition; and that Effective Interventions Exist. The Statement ends with a ‘Call to Action’, noting that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure that promotion, protection and support of optimal breastfeeding become universal public health policy. See here for the full Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59.

WABA is also supporting the CSW parallel event entitled "Mothers Matter: The Power of Breastfeeding" on 17 March 2015, between 8-10am at the Church Centre of the United Nations. See Advert here

31 Dec 2014 - Comment of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action to the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Development Report
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), its Core Partners and allies believe that breastfeeding promotes and protects the physical and emotional health and nutrition of baby and mother, preserves the environment, conserves financial resources, and makes the world a more secure place now and in the future. It is an essential component of any sustainable development goals and underpinned by several global documents such as the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (2002) and the WHO Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and young child nutrition (2010).

As such, we advocate for the explicit inclusion of breastfeeding in paragraph 70 of the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Development report. The explicit text we advocate for is included in red within paragraph 70:

70. The agenda must address universal health-care coverage, access and affordability; end preventable maternal, new-born and child deaths and malnutrition ensure the protection, promotion and support of exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding with adequate complementary feeding for 2 years and beyond ensure the availability of essential medicines; realize women’s reproductive health and rights; ensure immunization coverage; eradicate malaria and realize the vision of a future free of AIDS and tuberculosis; reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, including mental illness, nervous system injuries and road accidents; and promote healthy behaviours, including those related to breastfeeding, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Although outside the scope of the UN Secretary General’s report, WABA calls for more specific attention to the following elements to ensure optimal breastfeeding/infant and young child feeding practices globally:

  • Ensuring that “At least 50% Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) in the first 6 months” is included as a target indicator in the post 2015 agenda, and in relevant national policy on nutrition and health.
  • Ensuring that all facilities or hospitals where babies are born should implement Baby-friendly best practice standards.
  • Ensuring that all mothers have access to skilled breastfeeding counselling and support, both at health facility level and community level.
  • Implementing maternity protection legislation with the ILO Maternity Protection Convention C183 as a minimum standard.
  • Enacting Legal provisions that fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions.
  • Strengthening of national emergency preparedness policies and plans to include Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) with regulation of donations and of untargeted distribution of breast-milk substitutes, and of ready-to-use foods (RUFs).

Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014
‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’

Oct 8, 2014 - WABA announces the launch of the global Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014, dedicated to celebrating and critically assessing ‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’ on the 10th Anniversary of the FAO Right to Food Guidelines.

WABA is a member of the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition. The Global Network, together with other civil society organisations (CSOs) and social movements, has seized this anniversary as an opportunity for stocktaking and, more importantly, to call for renewed commitment by governments, UN agencies, civil society and other stakeholders, for the full realisation of the right to adequate food and nutrition.

“As a global alliance of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, WABA asserts that breastfeeding has a vital role in making food security a reality for millions of babies born every year”, asserts Jay Sharma, WABA Executive Director. “While included in the Voluntary Right to Food Guidelines, current statistics show that breastfeeding rates are abysmally low across the globe due to a confluence of factors including aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes, and lack of political will and a reluctance to make resources available by governments” he argues.

This dire scenario is even more critical for countries ravaged by emergencies and disasters! “Disasters are not exceptional situations in which states are exempt from their responsibilities with regard to the right to adequate food and nutrition… During emergencies, support for exclusive and continued breastfeeding is absolutely critical for the health and lives of infants and young children. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months accompanied by continued lactation and adequate complementary feeding is crucial for preventing infant deaths and malnutrition”, argues WABA’s representative to the WATCH Consortium board, Dr Marcos Arana, in his co-written article for the WATCH 2014 report. “Donations and untargeted distribution of breast-milk substitutes and ready-to-use foods (RUFs), together with the distribution of globally marketed seed varieties, create dependence, discourage breastfeeding by interfering with women’s options to decide the best manner in which to feed their children, erode local food culture, and undermine food sovereignty”, he stresses.

WABA is a member of the Watch Consortium and the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, which are closely linked since the majority of their members participate in both. This synergy ensures that the Watch is the most prominent monitoring tool of the Global Network. As the Global Network has notes in the report, the anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines comes at a critical moment for our struggle. The corporate private sector is showing increased interest and gaining greater influence in food systems and policy spaces worldwide. Agribusiness and financial investors are taking control of natural resources and undermining the sovereignty of food producers, while multinational food and beverage corporations gain increasing decision-making power over what ends up on the plate of the consumers. That social mobilization for human rights can have an impact even where such powerful actors are concerned is exemplified by the adoption of a resolution by the Human Rights Council in June 2014 to move towards the elaboration of a binding treaty to prevent human rights violations by transnational corporations

Click here for full WABA Press Release

Right To Food and Nutrition Watch 2014 Press Release

Download the Watch 2014 report

For more information also see:

11 December 2013 - WABA representatives meet with Dr. Olivier de Schutter, United Nation Special Rapporteur for right to food during his visit to Malaysia


On 11 December 2013, WABA secretariat facilitated the presence of Puan Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi (of the Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselling Association - MBfPC) at the Round Table Discussion with Dr Olivier de Shutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food during his official visit to Malaysia. Puan Kamariah shared her experiences and challenges of supporting and promoting mothers to breastfeed in various part of Malaysia via the work of MBfPC. She also focussed on the need to provide safe, nutritious, locally sourced appropriate complimentary foods instead of the 'growing up foods' intensively advertised by the baby food manufacturers—noting that mothers are being swayed by various marketing tactics. She also shared her concern on the need for healthy food for young primary school children, instead of the currently unhealthy processed 'food' sold by retailers in school canteens.

WABA asserted that breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers; and that humankinds' first food, breastmilk, is critical to child survival. We highly commended the Office of the Special Rapporteur for affirming that "States have a duty to support exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding, combined with adequate complementary foods, until the second birthday of the child; and to establish food systems that can ensure each individual's access not only to sufficient caloric intake, but also to sufficiently diverse diets, providing the full range of micronutrients required" and for asserting that, States are urged to "[t]ranspose into domestic legislation the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the WHO recommendations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and ensure their effective enforcement', in the 2012 report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/19/59) as it relates to children's rights to adequate food and health.

Stressing that breastfeeding provides total food security for infants, we noted that there is no more readily available, affordable and nutritious food source than breastmilk, a complete food for infants up to six months of age. Breastfeeding continues to provide the growing child with essential nutrients and energy, helping to prevent malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the second year of life and beyond, along with other foods. Breastmilk is the first food for babies, but breastfeeding also benefits women, families, communities, and our planet as a whole.

WABA appealed to Dr. Olivier de Schutter to call on governments, including the government of Malaysia, to:
· Promote exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding, combined with adequate complementary foods (up to 2 years of age) with greater coordination and cooperation.
· Implement full Maternity Protection for all working women (ILO Convention 183), including ensuring that the workload of childbearing women from all work sectors can be adjusted to accommodate childcare and breastfeeding.
· Implement and provide funding to fulfill UNICEF's 'Step 10 of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic'. This should in particular include Peer Counsellors (services and training).
· Promulgate and enforce domestic legislation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and the WHO recommendations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.

Sharing and citing the specific calls within the Statement of the Malaysia Forum on Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding, which WABA helped to facilitate on 29 September 2012, with The Malaysian Breastfeeding Association (PPPIM) and The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA), WABA also urged Dr Schutter to note the Forum's call to the Malaysian Federal and State government and the community at large to join in the following five point Plan of Action:

(1) To review the Code of Ethics for the Marketing of Infant Foods and Related Products particularly in relation to the massive explosion of promotion of formulas for older babies and to upgrade the Code into a legal Act with adequate monitoring and enforcement including clear violation reporting systems, accessible to the public.
(2) To ensure that all hospitals/facilities providing maternity services especially the private ones, fully practice all the "Ten steps to successful breastfeeding" set out in the WHO/UNICEF statement on breastfeeding and maternity services and to ensure that the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative implementation is made into a condition for certification of all such hospitals/facilities; the target date of 2015 should be set for its full implementation state by state.
(3) To ensure that the health and other relevant sectors protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond and particularly to ensure that women receive support in the family, community and workplace.
(4) To implement a major programme for mother support and childcare facilities for infants and young children which support and facilitate early and continued breastfeeding, including adoption and monitoring the application of a policy of Maternity entitlements with the ILO Maternity Protection Convention 2000 (C183), and follow up recommendation, R191; these should include paid maternity leave, at least 2 half-hour breastfeeding breaks, flexible work arrangements, crèches at or near the workplace, facilities for expressing and storing breastmilk.
(5) To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week more vigorously nationally and at the state and local level and on that occasion that the government announce a State of Breastfeeding in Malaysia report including actions taken to halt Code violations by companies and by the medical profession.

Oct 8, 2013 - WABA announces the launch of the global report Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2013, focusing on "Alternatives and Resistance to Policies that Generate Hunger".

Breastfeeding has a vital role in making food security a reality for millions of babies born every year. Breastmilk is the first food for babies, and breastfeeding also benefits women, families, communities, and our planet.

Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2013 points out that in recent years, several schemes related to food, agriculture and nutrition lead by the most powerful countries in the world in close cooperation with corporations have gained unprecedented influence. As international solidarity between states as well as UN resources have significantly decreased since the financial crisis in 2008, the new precept in international affairs appears to be that no major development project can be carried out without the active participation of major corporations and their front foundations/agencies, often in the form of public-private partnership (PPP). There is an urgent need to question this trend as it should be clear to everyone that the interests of corporations do not always align with public interests.

"WABA believes that programmes related to food and nutrition, health care and development and, especially programmes on infant and young child feeding, should be free from commercial influence and conflicts of interest" advocates Dato Anwar Fazal, WABA Executive Director; "this is especially since optimal breastfeeding, including early, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and continued adequate breastfeeding for up to two years or longer constitute the primary intervention to prevent child mortality worldwide."

Concerned about the impact of industry on the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding, WABA's International Advisory Council member Dr Ted Greiner collaborated on article in WATCH 2013, focusing on the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Initiative. "SUN is doing a lot of good things. It's helping to finally get nutrition the attention it deserves and directing resources to some of the countries that most need it. But doing it by inviting Big Food and Big Agriculture into policy making forums is a dangerous game in a world where they are part of the problem" argues Dr Greiner.

The key message of Right to Food and Nutrition Watch this year is that people's participation in the planning, development and implementation of alternatives to dominant policies in food, agriculture and nutrition is needed to challenge the current balance of power and effectively tackle hunger. It is of utmost importance to engage rights holders—people, communities and their organizations—in the design and implementation of policies that affect their daily lives.

WABA along with other members of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Consortium hope that all the initiatives presented in this 2013 edition of the Watch will enrich readers' understandings of the complex issues and foster many similar initiatives of resistance to challenge the current balance of power. Click here for full WABA Press Release.

See Right To Food and Nutrition Watch 2013 Press Release at:

For more information, and to download the report from:

See WABA Position Paper on Public Private Partnerships at:

February 19th 2013- Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Comments by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) on DRAFT Report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Health (WHO, UNICEF, Governments of Botswana and Sweden

WABA is pleased to note that health related goals will continue to be prominent in the post 2015 agenda. There is still the "unfinished business" in relation to the current health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the same time, more evidence now exists to support the fact that breastfeeding is a key intervention for infant and maternal health and survival, both in the short-term and long-term (including non-communicable diseases/NCDs). The basic guiding principles for these new proposed health goals should be in line with the key international instruments such as the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding and the Global Strategy for Women and Children's Health. The new health goals should include key breastfeeding indicators of both prevalence and the key interventions that facilitate and protect breastfeeding. The first goal "Healthy life expectancy" includes the elements of MDGs 4 and 5, and as such breastfeeding. WABA supports this new proposed overarching goal, with its target indicators.

Furthermore WABA proposes adding another indicator to the "lower levels of risk factors" that could be:

  • Percentage (%) of infants below 6 months NOT exclusively breastfed

In terms of the other proposed health goals, WABA strongly proposes that "Universal health coverage" should include:
  • All babies born in certified facilities implementing Baby-friendly best practice standards
  • All mothers having access to skilled breastfeeding counseling and support, both at health facility level and community level

Other important indicators to consider under Universal health coverage should be:
  • All countries implementing maternity protection legislation with the ILO Maternity Protection Convention C 183 as a minimum standard
  • All countries should have legal provisions that fully implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly resolutions

For further information on this topic, please click here

Oct 1 - Global Report Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2012 LAUNCHED!

It is with great pleasure and solidarity that WABA announces the launch of the global report Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2012, entitled "Who Decides About Global Food and Nutrition? – Strategies to Regain Control." The publication gives a multitude of examples of the severe violations of the right to food and nutrition that the current food system is provoking: from forced evictions and land grabbing by companies or corrupted members of governments, as illustrated by the articles on Mexico and on the Arab Spring, to inappropriate food supply programs or speculative investments in agrofuels, described in the articles on Bangladesh, Paraguay and the Philippines. Civil society representatives launching the fifth annual report on the right to food and nutrition state that it is impossible to combat the causes of hunger while keeping existing power relations untouched.

"In terms of the food security of the first food, the global breastfeeding movement continues to call for greater vigilance around the more aggressive marketing of baby and toddler foods, using new promotional avenues on the internet, especially social networking, via mothers' clubs, educational foundations targeting students, and as business interest NGOs etc. These tactics serve to keep global breastfeeding rates low over decades despite various efforts by the Ministries of Health in countries, and by breastfeeding advocates," notes Sarah Amin, Executive Director of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2012 focuses on exposing who is really in control of decision and policy-making when it comes to food and nutrition. In reaction, social movements and other expressions of civil society have engaged in strategies to regain people's control over food and nutrition. Click here for full Press Release. For more information, and to download the report from:

5 Sept 2012 - WABA Joins Protest of New Bill that will Weaken Code Legislation in the Philippines

WABA was recently alarmed to learn of the proposed consolidated draft Bill before the Philippines Congress i.e. HBs 3527, 3537, 3525 & 3396 entitled "An Act Promoting a Comprehensive Program on Breastfeeding Practices and Regulating the Trade, marketing and Promotions of Certain Foods for Infants and Young Children", which will effectively overturn and weaken the milestone National Milk Code (EO 51). WABA expressed concern that the Bill will open the doors to marketing and promotion in the public health system, risking the lives of millions of infants and young children in the country, via a Letter to the President of the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III. See the PDF sample of WABA's Letter .

WABA encourages genuine national endeavors to uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. We also support the global public health recommendation on optimal infant and young child feeding, defined by UN agencies as exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months followed by safe and appropriate complementary feeding with continued breastfeeding until the age of two years or beyond. This recommendation is contained in the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding of 2002, adopted by WHO/UNICEF, which the Philippines helped developed and endorsed at the regional and international level. See WABA Position Paper .

11 July - - On the occasion of the 3rd Peoples Health Assembly (PHA3), held in Cape Town, South Africa (July 6-11), WABA is updating the information on the Healthy Documents Website - see: It is hoped, this updated site, which now also includes People's Declarations/Statements, continues to be a source of useful information, and an important action tool for advocacy to promote people's health. We welcome feedback and suggestions on this site.

Additionally, for this occasion, WABA is happy to present the professionally designed up version of the "21 Dangers of Infant Formula" poster, sharing information on the effects that Formula companies do not want you to know about. The evidence based references and sources of information are presented on the back of the poster, see: here

June 22 - On the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 - RIO+20 - in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, WABA in collaboration with our Core partner IBFAN (International Babyfood Action Network) produced a poster to stress the fact that 'The Earth - Our Mother - is in crisis!' and 'Over 20 years of evidence has shown how infant formula production, packaging and use are adding to this crisis!' We have a healthy, viable, non-polluting, non-resource intensive, and natural alternative in breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a valuable natural world resource that is under threat from formula companies. We need to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in every country!

The Earth is Our Mother - Take Action NOW! La Tierra es Nuestra Madre – ¡Actuemos YA! A Terra é Nossa Mãe - Tome uma atitude agora!

click here for poster (A4, front)
click here for poster (A4, back)

The poster image is a product of an extremely talented and prolific designer named Chaz Maviyane-Davies, and was initially created for the 1992 Rio Summit which WABA utilised to assert our call on breastfeeding. Twenty years on it is indeed a shocking indictment of the continuing devastation and pollution facing our Mother Earth that we find ourselves using this image once again to assert the call for support for breastfeeding as a valuable natural world resource.

"Over the years I have tried to use images and ideas to cut through complacency and apathy while trying to raise consciousness about an array of social issues from discrimination and human rights, to health and the environment" notes Chaz Maviyane-Davies on his work. See more at: WABA is truly thankful for his generous contribution and support!

29 May 2012 - World Health Assembly Resolution tackles conflicts of interest!

Health campaigners welcome a new World Health Assembly Resolution calling on governments to strengthen controls on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes and establish 'adequate mechanisms' to deal with conflicts of interest.

See: Full Statement
See online version of the resolution at:

5 April 2012 - WABA presents a new information flyer entiled: '21 Dangers of Infant Formula the Infant Formula Companies don't want you to know'! The flyer lists the dangers mothers should beware of in terms of the risk their babies face when fed infant formula. It also lists the dangers mothers face if they do not breastfeed their babies. Produced on the occasion of WABA's 21st Anniversary in February 2012, the fact sheet was written by WABA-ILCA Fellow for 2011/2012, Nancy Forrest (RN, BSN, IBCLC). References of the evidence-based research used for this information flyer are provided on the back.

"The Business of malnutrition" breaking down trade rules to profit from the poor

Public Private Partnerships often promote product-based solutions for development. These can be untested 'innovative approaches' that are easy to measure in terms of volume – but hard to evaluate in terms of health.

The problem of this approach came into sharp focus at the Codex Alimentarius Nutrition meeting in Germany in November 2011 (1) IBFANers from Canada, Luxembourg, the UK and Swaziland present at the meeting succeeded in stopping the food industry and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, (GAIN) from weakening existing controls on health and nutrition claims on baby foods(2). GAIN is the public private partnership funded by the Gates Foundation that works with over 600 companies - and is seeking to open up markets for fortified complementary foods for babies.

Malang Fofana, the head of the Gambia delegation, expressed the concerns of many saying, "Because of the move to 'product-based' solutions, funding is already drying up for most infant and young child feeding support programs and for community-based approaches that teach and promote skills to make nutritious family foods from local indigenous ingredients. I fear that once this runaway train leaves the station there will be no stopping it."

The new 'business of malnutrition' with the potential of multi-billion dollar profits is often portrayed as a win-win solution for the economy and development. IBFAN fears that instead of improving infant and young child health, it could instead lead to a marketing bonanza which exacerbates the double burden of malnutrition (under and over nutrition) and drains family budgets.

There was as usual extensive food industry presence at the Codex meeting. 40% of the 268 delegates were food industry, with 59 attending as members of Business Interest NGOs (BINGOS) and 49 included on government delegations – some even heading these delegations. For example, the Mexican delegation, which made many industry-friendly interventions, was 100% industry, with US baby food companies Mead Johnson and Abbott alongside Kelloggs and Coca Cola.

(1) The draft Report of the Thirty-third Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) hosted by Germany in Bad Soden, Frankfurt.

(2) WHA Resolutions 49.15 (1996), 55.25 (2002) and 63.23 (2010). WHA Res 55.25 (4) "URGES Member States, as a matter of urgency to ensure that the introduction of micronutrient interventions and the marketing of nutritional supplements do not replace, or undermine support for the sustainable practice of, exclusive breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding." WHA Res 63.23 (1.4) "Urges member states to end inappropriate promotion of food for infants and young children and to ensure that nutrition and health claims shall not be permitted for foods for infants and young children, except where specifically provided for, in relevant Codex Alimentarius standards or national legislation."

For more information and a fuller version of this piece see:

For more information contact:
Patti Rundall, Baby Milk Action/IBFAN/IACFO +44 7786 523493
Elisabeth Sterken: National Director, INFACT Canada

List of current concerns:

The 2nd Global Conference "WOMEN DELIVER: delivering solutions for girls and women" was held from 7-9 June, 2010, in Washington, DC, USA. Attending the conference and promoting the role of breastfeeding for the health and wellbeing of girls and women were:

  • Miriam Labbok, Professor of the Practice of Public Health and Maternal and Child Health Director, Carolina Breastfeeding Institute
  • Rae Davies, Trainer, The Birth Company
  • Maureen Norton, Cognizant Technical Officer, USAID
  • Rebecca Magalhães, Co-coordinator, WABA Mother Support Task Force
  • Chris Mulford, Co-coordinator, WABA Women and Work Task Force;
  • Elaine Petitat-Cote, Human Rights Office, IBFAN-GIFA.
For more information, click here to see full report.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
PO Box 1200, 10850 Penang, Malaysia | Tel: 604-6584816 | Fax: 604-6572655 | E-mail: |