On September 16th,CCTV reported that in order to achieve
long-term profits, many milk companies had bribed doctors and
nurses. This was done without the knowledge of parents so that
hospitals would feed newborn babies with the companies' milk
powder to make the babies dependent on it. On September 17, in
order to solve this problem, the National Health and Family
Planning Commission circulated a notice forbidding medical
institutions and their staff from marketing and promoting
breast-milk substitutes. The notice states that the "Mothers
and Infants Health Law of the People's Republic of China"
and its implementing regulations, "Rules on the Marketing of
Breast-milk Substitute," should be implemented strictly. To
the extent that medical institutions and their staff market or
promote breast-milk substitutes, they will be sternly punished
according to the law.
According to the Notice, medical institutions are prohibited
from receiving gifts, sponsorships, kickbacks, or benefits from
producers and sellers of breast-milk substitutes. The Notice
prohibits various forms of marketing, promotion, advertising, and
other materials in medical institutions by the producers and
sellers. The producers and sellers may not display breast-milk
substitutes in medical institutions. The Notice also prohibits
medical institutions and staff from marketing breast milk
substitutes to pregnant women or their families. Meanwhile, the
Notice encourages and promotes breastfeeding and the concept of
"early contact, early milking, and early feeding". It
encourages mothers who are capable of breastfeeding to make
breast-milk available to their children at the earliest possible
The Notice states that medical institutions and their staff who
violate the provisions will be strictly punished according to the
Temporary Regulations for Violations of Medical Staff Discipline
and The Code for Medical Practitioners. In serious cases, the class
of the healthcare organizations will be reduced and the
organization will be held responsible. Medical institutions and
their staff who have committed commercial bribery will be punished
according to The Supreme Court and the Supreme People's
Procuratorate's Opinion on the Issues Regarding the Application
of Laws against Commercial Bribery in Criminal Cases and other
relevant laws and regulations.
The Notice emphasizes the need to strengthen public awareness.
It requires health and maternity departments to make available and
publicize channels through which the public can report on suspected
violations of the law. It encourages the general public to file
complaints against the illegal promotion and marketing of
breast-milk substitutes so as to punish these illegal
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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