The IFA supports breastfeeding as the best food for infants up to the age of 6 months and that breastfeeding should continue up to the age of 24 months, in conjunction with the introduction of safe and appropriate complementary foods. This concurs with the recommendation of the World Health Organization for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, where possible, and the introduction of safe and appropriate complementary foods thereafter to supplement continued breastfeeding to 24 months.
Consistent with the WHO, we believe that mothers who do not breastfeed require adequate support and education in the feeding of infant formula. We also believe that well-informed mothers make better nutrition decisions for their infants.
The Regulatory Framework
In December 2012, South Africa promulgated a set of regulations that relate to the foodstuffs for infants and young children. R991 of 2012, under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972. There have been several subsequent amendments. R365 Correction Notice, May 2013; R433 Extension Notice, June 2013 and R434 Schedule, June 2013. The Regulations are now fully implemented.
In July 2015, the IFA introduced the Rules for Responsible Conduct (RRC), a voluntary commitment that brings increased consistency and clarity to implementation of the WHO Code and the South African Regulations (R991/2012), and its amendments, as they relate to the marketing of breast-milk substitutes, follow-on formula, complementary foods and accessories. A synopsis of the Rules is available on this site. For a full copy, please contact the Association directly.