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Press Release

Public consultation on draft HK Code extended two months

21 December 2012

The Department of Health (DH) today (December 21) announced that the public consultation period for 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) will be extended till February 28, 2013.

A spokesman for the DH explained that the consultation period was originally scheduled to close on December 31. "During the consultation period, some stakeholders have submitted their initial comments and expressed that they need more time to prepare their detailed submissions. We have agreed to extend the consultation period by two months so as to give parties concerned sufficient time to consider the draft HK Code and submit their views. The consultation period will now end on February 28," the spokesman said. When the Legislative Council Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene and Panel on Health Services were consulted at a joint meeting on November 20, some members also requested extension of the consultation period.

The DH launched the public consultation on the draft HK Code submitted by the Taskforce on Hong Kong Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes on October 26 to gauge public views. 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 for infants and young children, with respect to the marketing and quality of these products while not interfering with their sale," the spokesman said.

Since the consultation started on October 26, about 2,000 letters had been sent to the trade, professional groups and non-governmental organisations to invite comments on the draft HK Code. Two briefing sessions by the DH and a Food Consultation Forum by the Centre for Food Safety were also conducted in November.

"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 said.

The full version of the draft HK Code is available on the website of the Family Health Service of the DH at . 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 , on or before February 28.

21 December 2012