Prescriptions not best formula for infant nutrition

The introduction of prescriptions to access infant formula could reduce infant nutrition levels, the Infant Nutrition Council (INC) has warned.

The INC’s warning follows a proposal made last week by RMIT University expert, Dr Jennifer James, who called for prescription-only access to infant formula as a solution to increasing Australia’s breastfeeding rates.

CEO Jan Carey of the INC said the idea could lead to inappropriate feeding choices for infants such as unmodified cow’s milk and increase the number of infants with inadequate nutrition.

“All mothers should be supported to provide the best nutrition for their infants. There’s no question that breast milk is best and improving breastfeeding rates is an important aspect in maximising Australia’s infant health and wellbeing.

“However, when an infant is not breastfed, the only suitable and safe alternative is a scientifically developed infant formula product.”

The INC supports both breastfeeding and infant formula and represents the major companies manufacturing, importing and marketing their own brands of infant formulas in Australia.

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