A survey conducted by Hong Kong’s health department has indicated that more than half the mothers in the city support curbs on advertisements that promote sales of infant formula, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
In the survey, about 64 percent of 500 mothers interviewed said restrictions on such ads are necessary, while 77 percent agreed that information regarding breast-feeding and infant formulas should be dispensed by non-commercial entities.
The survey came as some activists have been calling for ban on promotional campaigns by the milk powder industry.
The Food and Health Bureau launched a public consultation at end-2012 and the results presented to the Legislative Council on Thursday. The Department of Health’s survey was part of the consultation report.
According to the survey, more than half the respondents support regulations on sale of milk powder. While the Food and Health Bureau proposes to ban promotional acts for infant formula targeted at babies aged below three, milk powder makers have demanded that the rule be applied to only formula targeted at infants under six months.
The industry has pointed out that the World Health Organization recognizes milk powder products for older children as supplementary food.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Paediatrics has recommended that all milk power products for children should be regulated, regardless of the age groups they target. It says such products are usually promoted as replacement of balanced diet and that they could have a negative influence on children’s eating habits.
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