Urgent Action Needed

Your Comment On The Health Canada Proposed Policy Statement On Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants Is Needed

Since February 1, 2012, stakeholders have been invited to review and provide comments on the revised draft statement: Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants - Recommendations from Birth to Six Months. This is the standard guide for infant feeding for all Canadian health professionals.

You can make a difference. The consultation period for comments has been extended to April 15, 2012. You can submit comments on the draft statement by email, fax or mail:

Fax: 613-941-2432

Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion
C/o Infant Nutrition Project Lead
Health Canada
Address Locator: 3303D
Qualicum Tower A
2936 Baseline Rd
Ottawa ON K1A 0K9

INFACT Canada has prepared comment and edits on the DRAFT Statement: Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants - Recommendations from Birth to Six Months.

We urge all those who are interested in achieving the best possible policy statement that fully informs parents and care givers and promotes and protects breastfeeding as the norm for infant and young child feeding to submit your comment to Health Canada. Canada’s infant feeding policy should be based on those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), including the full implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions on infant and young child nutrition; the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) (including the BFI for communities); and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Infant and Young Child Feeding.

Please use the INFACT Canada comment, or add or use your own comment and edits.

Some key areas of concern:

  1. The definition of exclusive breastfeeding needs “from birth”,
  2. The importance of and support for the mother-baby dyad needs to be included,
  3. The inclusion of the word “about” in the recommendation for the duration of exclusive breastfeeding,
  4. The inclusion of iron fortified baby cereals in the recommendation for first complementary foods is not a nutrient rich complementary food and should be deleted,
  5. The subsection on, “feeding changes are unnecessary…” relating to health conditions seems unnecessary and needs a title change to “Continued breastfeeding is recommended,”
  6. The subsection entitled, “Breastfeeding is rarely contraindicated” needs a title change to “Breastfeeding and special circumstances” and the inclusion of infant feeding in emergencies,
  7. The subsection on “the use of breastmilk substitutes”, needs to highlight the need for code implementation, and full information about the composition, costs and risks associated with artificial feeding.

The deadline for submitting comment on the Draft Statement is April 15th.

You may use INFACT Canada’s comment and proposed changes or your own comment and proposals to improve the policy statement. To submit INFACT’s comment download either the MS Word or PDF file (below) and attach to an email to Health Canada.

For more information on the consultation process visit Health Canada’s Second consultation on Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants web page.

Elisabeth Sterken, nutritionist, BSc, MSc. Dt
Director INFACT Canada/IBFAN North America