Claims such as ‘Closer than ever to breast milk’ and ‘helps growth and the immune system’ have been banned.
As a result, the packs and marketing material for leading brands such as SMA, Farleys, Cow & Gate and Aptamil will have to change.
The crackdown has been ordered by the Government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) and is being enforced by the national lead body for trading standards officers, LACORS.
It comes as the government steps up efforts to promote breastfeeding as the best health option for new-born babies.
The FSA has told manufacturers to change their packs and marketing or face prosecution, while supermarkets have been ordered not to promote infant formula milk with price cuts.
The Department of Health has a policy to encourage breastfeeding because of its proven health benefits.
“It contains beneficial antibodies that are not found in infant formula.”
There is a raft of studies showing benefits in the development of the brain and body.
While a baby who is breastfed for the first three months is five times less likely to suffer a gastro-intestinal infection than one given formula.
Mr Bailey said: “Various compositional claims, like closer to breast milk, found on packs of infant formula will no longer be allowed. They will have to go from packs and advertising.
Both the Department of Health and FSA actively encourage breastfeeding. However, only 22 per cent of mothers are still breastfeeding their baby at six months, which is one of the poorest records in europe.
The Department of Health official line states: ‘Breastfeeding provides the best possible food for your baby. By breastfeeding, you are giving your baby protection from a variety of infections and other illnesses.’
The FSA says: “Most women’s bodies are very efficient at making breast milk, which provides all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy development in the first months of life.”
It also offers advice on the ideal diet for new mothers, including taking vitamin supplements such as vitamin D, to ensure the milk is at its most nutritious.
I am glad that the Department of Health has taken such a strong stand on baby Formula marketing. I wish North American Governments would launch similar campaigns.
It is misleading for the companies to state that their “concoction” can even come close to the power formula your body creates for your baby!