ACCC proposes to re-authorise infant formula marketing code

29 October 2015

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has proposed to re-authorise an agreement that prohibits the advertising and promotion of infant formula by manufacturers and importers directly to the public, and governs their interactions with health care professionals.

The Infant Nutrition Council’s Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula Agreement (MAIF Agreement), is a voluntary, self-regulatory code which governs the marketing of infant formula for infants up to 12 months. It has been authorised since 1992.

“The MAIF Agreement is a cost-effective way to help protect and promote breastfeeding in Australia,” ACCC Commissioner Delia Rickard said.

“Breastfeeding of infants provides real health benefits to Australian society, and this industry agreement promotes and protects breastfeeding by restricting inappropriate advertising of infant formula.”

The Infant Nutrition Council represents manufacturers and importers of infant formula in Australia. The MAIF Agreement gives effect in Australia to the principles of the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.

The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties before making a final decision.

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

Further information about the application for authorisation is available on the ACCC's public register.

Release number: 
MR 209/15
ACCC Infocentre: 

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