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Take action by 11/8! FDA wants to hear from you on infant formula marketing

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking feedback from the public on proposed standards for infant formula marketing, a move with potential to support breastfeeding and curb deceptive industry marketing practices. 

Over the past few years, communities around the US have made great strides to support breastfeeding mothers – from workplace accommodations written into the Affordable Care Act to rising numbers of baby-friendly hospitals – but too many mothers and children still face obstacles to breastfeeding. While three out of four mothers start out breastfeeding, only 43% are able to continue breastfeeding for the recommended six months; among African-American mothers, 58% start out breastfeeding, a rate that falls to 28% at the six-month mark. 

The infant formula industry isn't helping. Aggressive and often deceptive marketing by infant formula companies misleads parents and undermines breastfeeding. Specifically, these companies use “structure/function” labeling claims (these are claims that a nutrient or dietary ingredient will affect the normal structure or function of the human body, allowing companies to, for example, claim that their product supports infant health or digestion)  to market their products. These claims often hinge on false or unproven health claims that confuse and mislead parents by implying that formula may be better than breastmilk. 

This September, the Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance for the infant formula industry that would require companies to provide evidence for any structure/function claims they make.  

The FDA is currently seeking feedback on these proposed regulations. We encourage you to review the guidelines and submit a comment letter by the deadline, next Tuesday, November 8. Our colleagues at the California WIC Association have posted a draft comment letter. 

Breastfeeding provides health benefits for both mothers and babies, protecting infants against infections and illnesses, including chronic diseases like asthma, and decreasing mothers’ risk of breast and ovarian cancers, as well as providing opportunities for a mother and baby to bond. Many mothers face barriers to breastfeeding, such as lack of support from healthcare professionals and social networks and lack of family leave and workplace practices. Let’s make sure misinformation isn’t one more hurdle for mothers.

Prevention Institute building

Nov. 15 conference on Type II Diabetes Epidemic in California – What Can Cities Do?

Registration is now open for a statewide conference on preventing type-II diabetes, this November 15 in Pasadena, hosted by our partners at Public Health Advocates. The event will bring together advocates, city leaders, health care providers, and concerned residents to learn and share the latest strategies for curbing the growing type-II diabetes epidemic. With diabetes rates projected to double in the next five years. Learn more and register today.

Mujeres de la Tierra to honor Elva Yañez for her environmental justice and health equity advocacy 

PI is proud to share that Elva Yañez will be receiving the “Luchadoras de la Madre Tierra” (Warrior for Mother Earth) award from Mujeres de la Tierra, a Los Angeles-area nonprofit focused on environmental equity. To learn more about Mujeres de la Tierra, click here.

Contact Info:

Phone: 510-444-7738

Email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org

Prevention Institute
221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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