Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and packed milk powder products in China as supplements for babies.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reauthorised the agreement that bans direct public marketing of infant formula.
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health prohibits marketing of infant formula for babies under 6 months.
The ACCC says it has accepted the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF) to stay until the July 31 2024, to maintain restrictions on the promotion of breastmilk substitutes.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the ban has significant public health benefits through protecting the rate of breastfeeding.
"Without this agreement among infant formua manufacturers and importers there is a risk of an increase in the marketing of infant formula, both directly to consumers and indirectly through references to infants in the marketing of toddler milk," said Rickard.
The ACCC has ongoing concerns the marketing of toddler milk products undermines the effectiveness of the agreement. Issues with advertising complaints are also present because of timeliness and transparency for how they are handled under the agreement.