26 October 2012
The Department of Health (DH) today (October 26) launched a public consultation on the draft Hong Kong Code of Marketing and Quality of Formula Milk and Related Products, and Food Products for Infants and Young Children (the HK Code) submitted by the Taskforce on Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The consultation exercise will last for about two months until December 31, 2012.
A DH spokesman said, "The HK Code aims to contribute to the protection of breastfeeding and provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants and young children."
"To achieve this aim, the draft HK Code provides voluntary guidelines to manufacturers and distributors of designated products (including formula milk; formula milk related products, namely, feeding bottle, teats and pacifiers; and, food products for infants and young children aged 36 months or below), with respect to the marketing and quality of these products while not interfering with their sale," the spokesman said.
The consultation document sets out major provisions which cover the dos and don’ts for the manufacturers and distributors of designated products in a wide range of areas including :-
*Promotional practices for designated products to the public;
*The production and distribution of informational and educational materials related to breastfeeding and formula milk feeding and nutrition to the general public, pregnant women and mothers;
*Promotion in health care facilities;
*The distribution of informational materials related to designated products to health workers, and the sponsorship of continuing education activities for health professionals;
*Labeling for formula milk, food products for infants and young children and formula milk related products; and
*Quality standards of formula milk and food products for infants and young children.
Two briefing sessions will be arranged to explain the content of the draft HK Code, respond to their questions and solicit views from the trade. Views on the Hong Kong Code will also be invited in the Centre for Food Safety's Trade Consultation Forum to be held in November. The DH will also send letters to the trade, professional groups and non-governmental organisations to invite comments on the draft HK Code.
The full version of the draft HK Code has been uploaded on the website of the Family Health Service of the DH at www.fhs.gov.hk .
Written views and comments should be sent by post to the Secretariat Office of the Taskforce on Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Family Health Service, Department of Health, Room 1308, 13/F, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , on or before December 31, 2012.
"We welcome views from the public and stakeholders during the consultation period. The Government will carefully analyse and consider the views and comments received before finalising the HK code."
The spokesman added, "In light of the finding of iodine deficiency in certain infant formula products in August 2012, the Food and Health Bureau will expedite its work in formulating legislative proposals relating to formula products and foods for infants and young children. The Food and Health Bureau will consult the public on the proposals in November 2012. Members of the public who wish to comment on the legislative proposals should refer to that consultation exercise. " .