July 26, 2012
Elk Grove Village, IL– The American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Leadership Forum passed a resolution advising pediatricians “not to provide formula company gift bags, coupons, and industry-authored handouts to the parents of newborns and infants in office and clinic settings.” The resolution, passed in March 2012, was unveiled on the AAP’s breastfeeding website today.
The resolution asserts that breastfeeding is the normal physiologic way to feed newborn infants. It draws on parallels with conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry (which controls most of the infant formula market in the US, too). They note that the practice constitutes marketing, and that research shows that it adversely affects breastfeeding duration and exclusivity.
The resolution joins the growing voices against marketing of infant formula in medical environments, citing support from the Government Accountability Office, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, and previous statements from AAP. Note that this resolution does not constitute AAP policy; it is advisory but not binding.
Recently, all 49 Massachusetts maternity facilities banned of formula marketing discharge bags. The resolution gives strength to such practice as an important public health measure.