Working within the WHO Code

The WHO Code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes and all the subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions are global agreements designed to protect all babies from unscrupulous marketing and claims about alternatives to breastmilk. Some but not all of the Code and resolutions are written into regulation in the UK, which means that advertising of follow on formula, and advertising to health professionals is permissible.

Everyone working in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative accredited settings however pledges to work within the WHO Code and resolutions, and we are pleased to work in partnership with them to support health professionals in this.


Working within the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

A guide for dietitians

This resource explains how dietitians can reflect on their practice to ensure that they can protect themselves from conflict of interest and ensure that they do not undermine breastfeeding through supporting the inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes.


“Scientific and factual?”

A further review of breastmilk substitute advertising to healthcare professionals

This report looks at adverts for breastmilk substitutes seen in publications for health professionals in 2018/2019. As with the previous report we look at the claims made, the evidence provided to support the claims and provide a critique of this to demonstrate that in our opinion, many of these adverts do not provide independent expert scientific and factual information.”


“Scientific and factual?”

A review of infant formula advertising to healthcare professionals

This 2016 report examined the scientific evidence cited by companies to support claims made in advertising for breastmilk substitutes aimed at health workers in 2015/2016. These adverts are allowed under current UK wide regulations, but must be 'scientific and factual.' Studies cited in support of claims are often misleading and we believe that some of these advertisements were not in line with current regulations.

How you can help

We are committed to raising awareness and challenging misleading claims.
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Danone Nutricia

This briefing explains why a breastmilk substitute might want to partner with organisations that support pregnant women, infants and young children and reviews the activities of Danone globally has they have been externally evaluated.


'I just want to find the right formula for my baby' 

This qualitative report considers conversations between mums and other infant carers on websites and chat boards about infant formula. It updates a previous report ‘I hear it’s the closest to breastmilk’ and considers how the conversations mums have are influenced by the marketing of infant milks.


Working within the international code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes


what infant formula to choose

A 10 step guide


How the baby friendly initiative supports formula feeding parents