The Chinese government is mulling over a plan to ban infant formula advertisements as a way to promote the idea that “breast is best” in the country. (Erm, except when the breasts in question are spilling out of a woman’s dress for all the nation’s impressionable youngsters to see.)
China’s top legislature began reviewing a draft amendment to the advertising law, saying that all dairy products and food advertisements claiming to “partly or completely substitute mother’s milk” be “[banned from] mass media or public venues”.
Advertisers, clients and publishers that violate the potential ban could face up to 1 million yuan in fines, the proposal states.
Less than a third of infants younger than six months were breast fed exclusively in China in 2008, a figure often attributed to a decades-long propaganda campaign by milk powder manufacturers dissuading Chinese mothers from breast feeding.
The rates have increased in recent years, however, as the government has taken steps to encourage the practice by introducing special “lactation rooms” in public places and apps to help locate them. The State Council hopes to raise the exclusive breast feeding rate to 50 percent by 2020, according to CCTV News.
Still, China’s infant formula market is expected to grow to more than 30 million USD by 2016, and the proposal isn’t likely to be warmly welcomed by overseas firms such as Danone SA, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. and New Zealand exporter Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd., which are all targeting China.
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Why breast is not necessarily best for Chinese mothers
Official claims Chinese made milk powder is ‘better quality’ than imported formula
Mainland mother posts photo of huge smuggled milk powder haul