APIYCNA has shared our recent response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) draft guidance on regulating digital marketing of breast-milk substitutes. Our overarching comments on the draft are the following:

(1) Digital marketing is already covered by the Code, relevant WHA resolutions and several national laws. To avoid duplication, any additional guidance should focus on only those items that are not already covered by existing WHO instruments, including the Code and WHA resolutions.

(2) Preserving access to factual, scientific information in digital channels, where many parents and caregivers seek information, is essential to providing timely information that furthers public health goals.

(3) APIYCNA supports efforts by national governments to ensure that compliance with national laws extends to all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem, beyond manufacturers. Manufacturers continue to evaluate new technologies and means to help monitor independent websites. APIYCNA would welcome further discussions with the WHO, Member States and relevant stakeholders in the digital ecosystem.

In the ASEAN context, the goal of Member States to accelerate digital economy adoption, including digital marketing, may conflict with restrictive measures.

To align with the region’s digitalisation ambitions while addressing the diverse consumer needs, regulations should be based on a specific national context.

Read the full response here.