La Leche League International (LLLI), as an international breastfeeding support organization, has a responsibility to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding by upholding the International Code. In respect for that commitment and our obligations under the Code, we must respond to any influence by the formula industry that further undermines the Code.
LLLI therefore wishes to express our support for the International Baby Foods Action Network (IBFAN) statement in opposition to the World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “Call to Action”. “IBFAN calls on WHO and UNICEF to publicly distance themselves from the ‘Breastmilk Substitutes Call to Action’ because it departs sharply from decisions made at the World Health Assembly – the world’s highest health policy setting body. These decisions should be guiding WHO in its actions.”
LLLI shares the impatience felt by many with regards to the lack of progress towards the implementation of the International Code. We would welcome any real changes in the marketing strategies of the infant feeding industry that would take away the pressure to stop breastfeeding and save the lives of babies and mothers. Sadly, instead of offering real changes, this Call to Action simply allows the formula industry to continue behaving in ways that violate the Code and its purpose with impunity.