Recent and future developments in South Africa relating to
promoting and labelling foodstuffs for infants
On 6 December 2013 regulations came into force
in South Africa prohibiting the promotion of baby formula,
follow-up formulae, powdered milks and drinks marketed as suitable
for young children, feeding bottles, and any other products that
the Minister publishes in the Government Gazette ("designated
Prohibited promotional practices include advertisements,
rebates, special displays to promote sales, tie-in sales,
discounts, competitions, gifts, distribution of information on
nutrition or feeding young children, promotional items, and
exhibition of the designated product's brand name at events for
the general public. Furthermore, company personnel may not contact
members of the public, directly or indirectly. Indirect contact
includes Internet sites, social media, and help lines. Although
contact relating to product quality complaints and adverse events
is not prohibited.
On 6 December 2014 regulations will come into
force that provide strict requirements regarding the labelling and
packaging of designated products.
There will be a prohibition of any graphic representation on
labels. However, representations necessary to show the correct
method of preparing, cleaning and using the product, together with
pictures of the ingredient or prepared product will be
allowed. Company logos and brand names will be permitted,
provided that they do not contain a picture of a humanised figure.
The label of a designated product may not refer to, promote or
advertise any other designated product. Any incentive, enticement
or invitation of any nature that might encourage consumers to make
contact with the manufacturer or distributor or which might result
in promotion of a designated product will be prohibited from
appearing on the label.
Furthermore, there are strict parameters relating to the
appearance and wording of the labelling for infant and follow-up
formula, including requirements that the words "THIS PRODUCT
SHALL ONLY BE USED ON THE ADVICE OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL" and
"USE UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION" shall appear on the front
main panel of the label.
Certain expressions that may be understood to identify the
product as suitable to feed infants will also be prohibited. These
include the terms "first growth", "first food",
"from the start" and "best start in life".
By12 December 2015 all
non-compliant products will need to be removed from the market.
This notice serves to highlight some of the important provisions
in the regulations, but omits a large amount of detail. If you
would like further information or a review of your product
labelling, please contact Nick Pemberton.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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