Baby-Friendly e-Newsletter : Infant & Young Child Feeding and Nutrition in Perspective (Jan 2020)

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The New European Union Regulations on Compositional, Labelling and Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: Lowering the Maximum Protein Level


Dr Rachel Cheng

FHKAM (Community Medicine)

Specialist in Community Medicine

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants1 . For babies who cannot breastfeed, infant formula is the only alternative to breastmilk in providing the sole source of nutrition in the first few months, before the introduction of complementary food. Standard infant formula is essentially cow milk-based (or goat milk-based) and manufactured with reference to the nutritional content of breastmilk. Manufacturers have to adhere to international or national compositional standards for infant formula, e.g. Codex standards2 , European Union (EU) standards.

In the light of the latest scientific evidence, EU revised its regulations on the composition, labelling and marketing of breastmilk substitutes in 2016, which will come into force in February 20203 . It asserts that the essential composition of infant formula and follow-on formula must satisfy the nutritional requirements of infants in good health as established by generally accepted scientific data”. The new regulations are devised based on the Scientific Opinion on the Essential Composition of Infant and Follow-on Formulae issued by the expert panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 20144 .



For the whole article and the note of References, please refer to the PDF version.


Views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the BFHIHKA.



Editor-in-Chief: Dr Shirley Leung


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