Topic(s): BMS Code, Breastfeeding
Audience: Policy makers and legislators, Program designers and implementers
Organization: Alive & Thrive
Programs: Strategic use of data
An analysis reveals that breastmilk substitutes companies are using health claims, misinformation about breastfeeding, digital marketing, and promotional tactics such as donations and services to capitalize on families’ COVID-19 fears to undermine breastfeeding and sell products. Results demonstrate a sharp increase in violations of the WHO Code of Breastmilk Substitutes during the pandemic and point to a need for awareness raising, targeted enforcement, addressing misinformation, holding social media platforms accountable, and mobilizing community monitoring.