EO 51 regulates the marketing, and practices related to the use of breastmilk substitutes, including infant formula; other milk products, foods and beverages, including bottle-fed complementary foods, for use as a partial or total replacement of breastmilk; and feeding bottles and teats. It also applies to their quality and availability, and to information concerning their use.
- Specific products and other products when marketed as partial or total replacement of breastmilk:
- Breastmilk substitutes including infant formula
- Feeding bottles and teats
When marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification for use as a partial or total replacement of breastmilk:
- Other milk products
- Foods and beverages
- Bottle-fed complementary foods
- The quality and availability, and information concerning the use of these covered products:
The law mandates companies to provide the necessary information about the appropriate use of their products.
However, the following vital information on the use of infant formula is rarely provided on product labelling thereof:
- Infant formula is not a sterile product and is associated with contamination of harmful bacteria like Enterobacter sakazakii. This bacterium is associated with threatening risks of meningitis and sepsis, mostly to infants aged 28 days and below.
- Among other precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) emphasizes that water no cooler than 70°C should be used to prepare infant feeds from powdered formula. This temperature will kill harmful bacteria that may be present in powdered formula.