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Let Them Choose © Fabien Touzard
pour Action contre la Faim




our petition

Under extreme living conditions – poverty, conflicts, difficult access to hygiene and clean water… The use of formula milk instead of breast milk is an additional risk for children’s health. 

Families must be able to choose how to feed their children, between breast milk and formula milk. However, for years, parents’ lack of information on the subject and the aggressive marketing conducted by manufacturers have aggravated the situation. 

Formula milk companies declare complying with an international code adopted by the World Health Organization. This code provides a framework for the commercialization and prohibits the marketing of formula milk. 

We denounce the ongoing code violations that are happening: omnipresent advertising, messages idealizing the products, gifts to families and doctors… These marketing practices hold sway over parents’ decisions. We also denounce the consequences of such marketing practices on the health of thousands of children. 

We demand that companies undertake concrete actions by immediately joining a pact. Through this pact, they will demonstrate their willingness really to comply with the World Health Organization’s Code, by conforming to a concrete progression program, evaluated by NGOs specialized in child nutrition. 

Sign and share our petition “Let Them Choose”, for a responsible commercialization of formula milk. Help us give back the parents the freedom to choose. 


Our initiative is to ask formula milk companies to join a pact, to demonstrate their willingness to improve their commitments and practices through rapidly achievable solutions and better transparency.

The 3 main criteria established are:

• Reinforced commitments: so that the internal policy of the companies adopts the requirements of the Code, considered as the minimum standard for the marketing of infant milks;

• Solutions that can be quickly implemented: for companies to adopt measures to quickly remedy problems of non-compliance with the Code;

• Better transparency in activities: which implies for example the publication of the content of activities carried out by companies on child nutrition, such as subsidies for training doctors, or partnerships with the Ministry of Health.

A first phase will take place from May to September 2018 to enjoin companies to commit to this pact. Three months after accession, companies are expected to share on their websites a timetable for adopting revisions to be put in place for their internal policies.

One year after accession, companies should be able to ensure that all the necessary conditions for an external audit with strict criteria are in place. The evaluation process will then be carried out on an ongoing basis on a more global scale involving other Action Against Hunger partner actors who are working on the subject.

The results will be made public, thus alerting any companies concerned to the lack of progress made. It will then be a warning, and in the extreme case, the withdrawal of their adherence to the Pact.

We hope that many other members of civil society will join us in pushing the private sector to improve its practices quickly.

our report  


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