UCA Statements

Unethical Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes

01 March 2004

04.17 It was resolved to:


  1. the World Health Organisation International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (WHO Code) and subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions (WHA Resolutions) seek to protect all mothers and babies from aggressive company practices;
  2. unethical marketing of breast-milk substitutes leads to sickness and death of babies and exploits some of the world's poorest women;
  3. there is evidence of systemic violations of the WHO Code and WHA Resolutions in the international activities of companies who operate within Australia.

Call on all companies to fully comply with the World Health Organisation International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code) and subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions relating to marketing of breast-milk substitutes (WHA Resolutions).


  1. all companies that sell breast-milk substitutes to provide for independent and transparent monitoring of their marketing practices to ensure compliance with the WHO Code and subsequent WHA Resolutions;
  2. governments to implement the WHO Code and WHA Resolutions into legislation and ensure that the WHO Code and WHA Resolutions are upheld in their states.

Encourage members, councils, agencies, congregations and groups of the Uniting Church to:

  1. raise alleged breaches of the WHO Code and WHA Resolutions with companies and lobby for changes to company policies and practices so that the WHO Code and WHA Resolutions are complied with;
  2. consider the policies and practices of companies that market breast-milk substitutes when making decisions about the purchase and consumption of their products.