Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers


Parents must be given better information about formula milk’s contents with advertising claims from producers also examined by an independent regulator, according to an MP


Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central) said she wants ministers to close legal loopholes to ensure babies are given food which can be guaranteed to be safe.

She is seeking to make changes to the law via her Feeding Products for Babies and Children (Advertising and Promotion) Bill, which aims to tighten the rules around advertising formula in medical journals.

Ms Thewliss said there is also a need to ensure an international code on marketing breast milk substitutes is enforced in the UK while regular scientific testing of products should occur so “people are getting what it says on the tin”.

Speaking ahead of an attempt to introduce the Bill into the Commons for further debate, the SNP MP said there are issues around the content and testing of formula products – with trading standards and councils lacking the resources to fully keep tabs on them.

Ms Thewliss told the Press Association: “We’d like to see greater, regular scientific testing to make sure people are getting what it says on the tin because I fully accept parents will choose formula, but we want that to be protected and as safe as it can be.

“At the moment that’s not quite the case.”

Ms Thewliss added: “At the moment there’s just not really enough information out there. There are things creeping into formula milk like probiotics, which you get in yoghurt and things like that.

“But they’re saying in order for the probiotics to work you have to make formula at a lower temperature.

“The reason formula is made up at a higher temperature and the boiling water is formula in itself is not sterile so there’s a real worry that if you’re producing it at a lower temperature it doesn’t kill any bugs that might be hanging around, established in the formula over the production process – and you’re giving that to very young infants who will then be more vulnerable for sickness and other things.

“So it’s making sure the efficacy of these products is tested – that people know what’s gone into them, know how to prepare it safely and that these new tricks companies are producing are actually tested.”

Ms Thewliss also suggested there is a lack of impartial advice when it comes to formula products, adding: “It’s a product that’s been fed to the most vulnerable people in society – small babies. We want it to be absolutely well regulated and tip top.”

On the proposal for an independent regulator to examine marketing claims, Ms Thewliss said: “I think something of that kind would be more useful because at the moment self regulation is just not working.”

Ms Thewliss’s Bill is highly unlikely to become law without Government support.

Related entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. What are the European...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

Latest entries

The Best Family Walks in Britain

The Best Family Walks in Britain

We could all do with exercise, fresh air and some lovely low-cost days out, not to mention some beautiful scenery. Charles Clinkard have put together a list of the 40 greatest walks for families in Britain, taking into account a number of helpful amenities such as...

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

As a parent of a 10 year old who is rapidly approaching the age where he will be getting his own phone, I’m concerned about ensuring he isn’t exposed to a cavalcade of disturbing things online. I’m worrying about bullying, about him being contacted or making friends...

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

The Olympics have started! Despite a lack of fans (crowd noise will be piped into the stadiums instead) the event is still as important as ever and makes for great summer viewing. So at Dad.Info we have rounded up 21 interesting facts about Japan to both liberally...

Pin It on Pinterest