China considers ban on infant formula ads in bid to promote breast feeding
SHANGHAI – China is considering a ban on advertisements for infant milk formula in a bid to tackle low levels of breast feeding, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday, a potential headache for firms targeting the country’s near US$18 billion (S$24 billion) market.
The draft would ban adverts in mass media or public places for dairy products, drinks and other foods that “claim to partly or completely substitute mother’s milk”, Xinhua said.
Less than a third of babies are exclusively breastfed in China and the number is falling despite global health bodies recommending the practice for babies under six months.
At the same time, China’s infant formula market is set to grow to more than US$30 billion by 2017, according to consultancy Euromonitor, making the country a magnet for dairy firms such as Danone SA, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co and New Zealand dairy exporter Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd.
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