The Food and Health Bureau is considering tightening the rules on advertisements for infant milk powder, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
Under the proposed new rules, makers of milk powder products for babies less than six months old would be barred from publicly claiming the level of certain nutrients, such as DHA and calcium, contained in them.
Producers would also be prohibited from claiming their products contain more vitamins or other nutrients.
The bureau also proposes that makers of infant milk powder or foods be barred from claiming their products can reduce the risk of disease.
However, it takes an open attitude toward health benefits advertised by infant food producers as long as they can provide scientific evidence, the report said.
The bureau is launching a three-month public consultation on new regulations for infant formula products for babies less than six months old, formula products for those between six months and 36 months old, and prepackaged foods for children less than three years old.
The Hong Kong Infant and Young Child Nutrition Association, representing six major milk powder producers — Nestle, MeadJohnson, Wyeth, Abbott, Friso and Nutrilon — agrees with the tighter rules, saying they should be transparent and follow international practice.
The Consumer Council also welcomed the proposal, calling for legislation to prohibit false or exaggerated advertising.
The council received 220 complaints regarding infant milk powder between January and November last year.
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