Baby milk adverts banned to encourage breast feeding
"Makers of powdered milk for babies under six months are to be banned from advertising it to parents.
They will be permitted to promote the product - known as infant formula - only in trade magazines and scientific journals.
Under new rules prompted by an EU directive, TV and print adverts for follow-on formula, aimed at infants over six months, will be subject to tighter restrictions but not banned.
Firms will not be allowed to include pictures or text comparing the products to breast-milk, and follow-on formula adverts must not lead parents to the maker's infant formula products.
Announcing the rules yesterday, public health minister Dawn Primarolo said the aim was to keep the public informed about feeding options without detracting from the "breast is best" message.
Miss Primarolo said: "The Government is trying to encourage breast-feeding because of the benefits to the mother and baby.
"But we recognise that not all mothers either choose or are able to breastfeed the baby."
However the restrictions, which come into force in January, fall short of the complete ban on all infant formula and follow-on formula advertising demanded by campaigners.
Frances Day-Stirk, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "We are calling for a complete ban on promotion of breast-milk substitutes, so it is a little disappointing that this has not been implemented."
Infant formula advertising is already heavily restricted but is currently permitted in leaflets given out by the Health Service.
That loophole will be closed when the EU directive comes into force."