Formula milk scandal: Every third NHS board has accepted payment or sponsorship from manufacturers.
- Formula companies use "Trojan" formulas to connect to British physicians.
- Businesses Can not Promote Formulas or Advertise Babies Under Six Months
- But experts say companies use special formulas to circumvent the rules.
- One-third of NHS health authorities received sponsorship or payments from formulators.
Ben Spencer Medical Correspondent for the Daily Mail
A third of NHS health authorities violated the guidelines by accepting payments or sponsorship from baby food companies, which has led to an investigation.
The marketing of infant formulas is strictly regulated to try to stop falling breastfeeding rates. Enterprises may not promote or promote formulas for infants under the age of six months, and the World Health Organization's Code of Practice states that no medical organization or doctor should accept payments from formulators.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Code of Conduct says that no medical organization or doctor should accept payments from formulators , Experts believe that companies use their specialized formulas as a "Trojan Horse" to connect with doctors for their regular baby products [File photo]
. However, 59 out of 195 clinical commissioning groups in England since 2014 have revealed at least one WHO Code breach listed by Channel 4 Dispatch investigation. In Wales, five out of seven local health authorities reported a violation.
According to experts, companies use their special formulas – such as "hydrolyzed" products for children with allergies, as a "Trojan horse" to make connections with doctors – normal baby food products that they are prohibited from marketing.
Sue Ashmore of Unicef UK said: "Powerful multinationals have crossed the boundaries of existing legislation to promote their products. We urgently need better legislation to protect babies.
Dr Laura de Rooy, a neonatologist at St George's Hospital in London, said she suspects that some physicians promote products after they have been influenced by industry.
A spokesman for The Department of Health Said: "It is totally unacceptable for health care providers or workers to receive financial incentives to support certain brands."
The British Specialist Nutrition Association, whose members include Danone Nutricia, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé Broadcasts: "We believe that we have an obligation to provide information [to healthcare professionals] so that they can advise parents on the diet of their babies.
"We can only enforce legally recognized claims, and we believe it is irresponsible to tell parents and caregivers that they can not trust this one. "
The Great Formula Milk Scandal: Dispatches is now on Channel 4 at 20.00.
The marketing of infant formulas is strictly regulated to prevent the decline in breastfeeding rates. Companies may not promote or promote a formula for infants under the age of 6 months. [File photo]