According to the Abbott government, the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) is no longer necessary. The Department of Health website states that due to strong public awareness of the MAIF Agreement, a declining number of complaints and broad industry compliance, the independent group is not needed.
This is unacceptable. Without clear and transparent monitoring and governance, or a complaints mechanism, how can the government possibly believe our International obligations under the WHO Code are being met?
Reality is that broad industry compliance has resulted in innovative new products and marketing to undermine the intent of the MAIF Agreement and WHO Code. A declining number of complaints may be explained by frustration with an ineffective system. The MAIF agreement hasn't been kept up to date with industry practices making it impossible to achieve its purpose.
The MAIF Agreement needs to be monitored externally to the formula industry. Join us in calling for immediate action to re-instigate a complaints process as a first step.