[Recommendations for marketing of infant foods] Recommandations pour la commercialisation des aliments de l'enfance.
Frequency of breast feeding has decreased in most European countries; this decrease is due partly to the lack of knowledge of the importance of breast feeding on the part of young mothers and also of nursing personnel, but it is especially due to the excessive promotion of infant formula on the part of the industry. This promotion is carried out even in maternity hospitals through distribution of pamphlets and brochures to mothers, and through radio and television commercials, and through the liberal distribution of free samples. Several international organizations have already acted to limit the publicity in favor of maternal milk substitutes. A document, elaborated by the French Pediatric Association, and approved in 1979 by the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, makes several recommendations to encourage breast feeding and limit bottle feeding. The major recommendations are: 1) publicity in favor of maternal milk substitutes must never be addressed directly to the public, but it must be filtered through information given by the medical and paramedical profession; 2) all labeling of maternal milk substitutes must clearly state that maternal milk is the ideal infant food until at least 3 months of life; 3) breast feeding must occupy the 1st place in all brochures on infant feeding directed to the public; 4) distribution of free samples to families and hospitals must stop; and 4) no reduced prices are admissable even for the sale of products to clinics, hospitals, and maternity hospitals.