On May 10, 2017, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) released an inquiry result to understand the reasons for the significant increase in the prices of formula milk in Singapore in recent years.
According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, the average retail price of formula milk has more than doubled over the past nine years. Based on the findings, CCS made recommendations to improve consumer awareness and recommendation and as part of the “Whole of Government” effort to promote breastfeeding, AVA will be tightening the labelling and advertising requirements for infant formula.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is seeking feedback from stakeholders on the proposed amendments (I) to (IV) to the Food Regulations concerning the labelling and advertising requirements for infant formula for infants 0 – 12 months of age.
Inclusion of mandatory statements
- Breast milk is best for infants; and
- Infant formula should be used on the advice of a doctor or healthcare practitioner.
Prohibition of use of health claims
Labels and advertisements for infant formula must not contain claims which state, suggest or imply that the infant formula or a component, ingredient, constituent or other feature of the infant formula has, or may have, a health effect.
Prohibition on idealization of infant formula
- Labels and advertisements for infant formula must not contain claims which directly or indirectly compare the infant formula to breast milk.
- Labels and advertisements for infant formula must not contain claims which idealize the use of infant formula like a pictorial or graphic representation of pregnant women, nursing women, infants, young children or careers etc.,
Prohibition and restriction on use of nutrition claims
- Claims with respect to energy, carbohydrate and nutrients listed under Regulation 252(3) must not be made.
- Claims with respect to the presence of ingredients listed under Regulation 252(5) and 252(6) are permitted, provided the claims do not in any way imply that the infant formula is enriched, fortified, or is an excellent source of these ingredients.
- Claims on the “addition of hydrolyzed milk protein isolate” and “absence of lactose” should contain a statement indicating the product is not suitable for general use and should be used under medical supervision.