Sweden May Ban Images of Babies in Ads for Formula
Health officials want to promote breastfeeding
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2012 4:04 PM CST
Swedish health officials want to discourage the use of infant formula.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sellers of infant formula in Sweden will likely face a tough marketing problem soon: They won't be able to use images of babies on their products. A new law being readied for 2013 would make the practice illegal, reports the Local. Health officials want to encourage breastfeeding over formula, and they think images of cute babies idealize use of the powder mix. Manufacturers also wouldn't be able to sell the formula at a discount, and packaging would have to clearly send the message that breastfeeding is the preferred way to go.

All of which strikes Mary Fischer at the Stir blog as way over the top. "It's almost like they think feeding a baby formula is some sort of crime," she writes. "For the sake of moms around the globe who are either unable to breastfeed or simply choose not to (because it's THEIR decision and nobody else's)—this just seems so outrageous and unnecessary." Read her full response here.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
rosarians
Nov 10, 2012 7:01 AM CST
Infant formula companies use the same tactics as the tobacco industry.
shesfireandice
Nov 8, 2012 1:07 PM CST
This is ridiculous. Breast feeding IS preferable and should be encouraged, but I'm sick and tired of the Lactation Gestapo scaring women into thinking their babies will be malnourished, sickly, less healthy or fail to thrive properly if given formula. There are lots of women who simply CANNOT breastfeed, either due to life-saving or otherwise necessary medication they're taking, anatomical reasons (like plugged milk ducts, mastitis, etc.,), health concerns (Hepatitis and HIV can be passed through breast milk, but you can still have a healthy baby,) and a host of other issues. How does it help those women or ANY woman to make them feel that they're somehow loving their children less than the breastfeeding Mom? I was not breastfed and me and most of my peers who grew up during that time when it wasn't popular have been just as healthy as the Moms who made the other choice. Not allowing the picture of an infant on the packaging of INFANT formula sends a message that will only increase a new Mother's anxiety and exercises more governmental control over a persons thought process than I believe is healthy for any Nation's citizens. We've swung from one extreme to the other with this issue. It used to be that only lower-class women breastfed and most women were taught that formula had all the baby's nutrients. Now we know that breastfeeding is best for baby in many ways, but formula-fed babies can be every bit as healthy. There are simply too many formula-fed babies who are now healthy adults for the opposite to be true. We don't have to go to extremes on every issue involving the health and safety of children. Instead of demonizing formula and mothers who make the choice to use it, why not continue supporting the Mothers who wish to breastfeed AND offer the same support to women who make another choice? For Goodness sake, don't LIE to women and tell them their babies won't be healthy or that they won't bond with them as well. It's just not true.
Tyler_M.
Nov 8, 2012 11:25 AM CST
Next thing you know they'll be telling parents they can't give their kids formula in bottles larger than 16 oz.