A manufacturing business lobby has come out guns blazing over a new law in the works that seeks to restrict the sale of breast milk substitutes in Kenya.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) says the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulation and Control) Bill 2012 does not serve the objective of improving children’s health, a premise which it is anchored on.
The Bill has already gone through the first two readings in Parliament.
“The Bill, if enacted into law in its current state, will impose restrictions on the marketing, distribution and sale of breast milk substitutes in Kenya to the extent that labelling and giving out information on breast milk substitutes even to medical practitioners would be illegal,” said Ms Betty Maina, KAM chief executive in a statement.
The proposed law goes against Article 35 of the Constitution on the right to access information, says KAM.
“It limits people from being informed by medical practitioners, proprietors and distributors. It regulates labelling, advertisement and education on breast milk substitutes,” she said.
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008-2009, 97 per cent of children are breast fed and only three per cent of children less than three years receive commercially produced infant formula.