The Milk Code

Inter-Agency Committee

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SECTION 1 Definition of Terms

Pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 4 of Section 12(a) of excutive Order No. 51 dated 20 October 1986, othenvise known as “The Milk Code,” the following rules and regulations are hereby promulgated to govern the advertising, promotion and marketing of products within the scope of said Code.

SECTION 1 Definition of Terms-

As used in these Rules, unless the context indicates otherwise-
(a) “Committee” shall refer to the Inter Agency Committee created under Executive Order No. 51 series of 1986, composed of the Secretary of Health, as Chairman and the Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development, as member.
(b) “Infant” shall refer to a person within the age bracket of 0-12 months
(c) “Breastmilk substitute and supplement” shall refer to the following:
(i) Breastmilk substitute means any food being marketed or otherwise represented as partial or total replacement of breastmilk;
(ii) Infant Formula or breastmilk substitute formulated industrially in accordance with applicable Codex Alimentarius standards, to satisfy the normal nutritional requirements of infants up to between four to six months of age, and adapted to their physiological characteristics;
(iii) Complementary food, weaning food, breastmilk supplement or any
food that is suitable as a complement to brcastmilk or to infant formula when either becomes insufficient to satisfy the nutritional requirements of the infant; and
(iv) Infant feeding-bottles of any graduated container made of glass,
plastic or similar materials; (v) Nipples or teats made of rubber, silicone or similar materials which are used as breastfeeding substitutes.
(d) “Advertising material” shall refer to the packaging, including wrappers and to any advertising, promotion or marketing material for breastmilk substitutes and supplements in any form of media, such as motion pictures, including filkm commercials, whether photographed on film or videotaped, sound recordings, still photographs for public display or magazine and newspaper publications or artist’s studies serving as a final basis for magazine and newspapaer advertising layouts or similar products intended for public exhibition in move theaters, on television) or through any communication device intended for public exposure.
Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, the term shall not include printed materials given directly by manufacturers and distributors of breastmilk substitutes and supplements to institutions engaged in the health care of mothers, infants and pregnant women, nurseries or child care institutions and to health workers in private practice, provided said materlals are restricted to scientific and factual matters regarding said products and include the information mentioned in Section 20 hereof.
(e) “Label” means any tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive matter, \vritten, printed, stenciled, marked, embossed or impressed on, or attached to, the packaging of the product covered by these rules.
(f) “Marketing” means product promotion, distribution, sales, advertising, products public relations, and information services.
(g) “Marketing firm” shall refer to an individual or firm which provides marketing services.
(h) “Marketing personnel” shall refer to any person involved in marketing brcastrnilk substitutes or supplements.

SECTION 2 Functions of Committee –

The Committee shall view, screen, examine, approve or disapprove, or delete portions from and prohibit the printing, publication, distribution, prohibition and broadcast of advertising materials of breastmilk substitutes or supplements and related products within the scope of the “Milk Code.”

SECTION 3 Committee Secretary –

The Committee shall designate a Secretary who shall keep the book or books necessary for the recording of all the action and proceedings of the Committee; and shall perform such powers and duties as may be assigned to him by these rules or by the Chairman.

SECTION 4 Quorum; Voting –

A majority of all the members of the Committee present shall constitute a quorum for the review and examination of advertising materials. A majority vote of the members present is sufficient to pass upon and approved any business presented in the meeting. The Chairman shall not be required to vote in a meeting.. He may however, break a tie vote in the Committee.

SECTION 5 Meetings

The Committee shall meet every fortnight. However, the Chairman may, motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Secretary, call a special meeting to attend to urgent matters.
The members may designate their duly authorized representatives to attend and vote in the meetings of the Committee.

SECTION 6 Criteria

(or Action In the review and examination of advertising materials, the members of the Committee shall be guided generally by the criteria established in Executive Order No. 51

SECTION 7 Application; Contents-

An application for the review or examination of an advertising material shall be in the form prescribed by the Committee and shall be filed in triplicate. It shall contain, among others, the following information:
a. name of the marketing firm
b. bane if the brand or product
c. name of the manufacturer of the product
d. title of the advertising material, if any e. nature/type of advertising material
f. in case of fi1m, videotape or sound tape recording, its time duration

SECTION 8 Supporting Materials –

The application shall be accompanied by the following:
a. a certification/ clearance duly issued by the Bureau of Food and Drugs and/ or other appropriate government agency that the label of the container and/or the product complies with the rules and regulation of said bodies.
b. Copies of such supporting documents, presentation materials and references which the advertiser/marketing firm may have submitted to the Philippine Board of Advertising for clearance prior to release, if any; and
c. Such other materials which the Committee may deem necessary for the examination and review of the advertising materials.

SECTION 9 Application –

The application shall be filed in due form with the Secretary of the Committee at least thirty (30) days before the scheduled dated for the airing, release for exhibition of the advertising materials. The time and date of receipt shall be stamped on the application. An application fee of a reasonable amount to be determined by the committee will be collected for the review I examination of Advertising materials.

SECTION 10 Submission to Committee –

The application shall be submitted by the Secretary of the Committee for review and examination within one (1) day from date of receipt. The Committee may conduct said review and examination or assign said task to the Preview Panel mentioned in the following Section.

SECTION II Preview Panel –

The Committee may create Preview Panels which shall conduct the actual review and examination of advertising materials. A Panel shall be composed of one representative each of the Departments represented in the Committee. The representative of the Secretary of Health shall act as Chairman of a Panel.
The Preview Panel shall observe the rules and procedures on voting and quorum prescribed under these Rules.

SECTION 12 Action of Preview Panel –

The written findings and recommendations of a Preview Panel shall be submitted immediately to the Committee, through the Secretary, imtnediately after the review and examination. Said findings and recommendations shall be included in the agenda of the next scheduled meeting of the Committee for decision.
The Preview Panel shall be available for consultation with the committee during the latter’s deliberation of the Panel’s findings and recommendation.

SECTION 13 Committee Deliberations –

The meetings of the Committee and a Preview Panel, including the presentation of the advertising material, shall be held in executive session.

SECTION 14 Presentation of Advertising Material –

The advertising material shall be formally presented in the meeting of the Committee or Preview Panel, as the case may be, by a duly designated representative of the Marketing Firm or advertiser.

SECTION 15 Decision –

The Committee shall render its decision on an application within two (2) days after the presentation of the advertising material
The decision of the Committee shall be in writing, each member stating clearly his comments and observations in case of disapproval.
In the proper case, the Preview Panel which conducted the review and examination of the advertising material may be consulted by the Committee.

SECTION 16. Approval-

Not later than five (5) days from the date of the decision of the Committee, the Secretary shall issue the corresponding permit signed by the Chairman of the Committee authorizing the production airing, release or exhibition of the advertising material. Tn case of still photographs, artist’s studies for advertising lay’outs or similar materials, the approval thereof shall be stamped by the Secretary on the face thereof.
or similar materials, the approval thereof shall be stamped by the Secretary on the face thereof.
A motion picture, trailer, still and other pictorial advertisement may be approved in toto or with the elimination of objectionable scenes, parts or portions of the information or text thereof.
The permit for the production of the advertising material does not include the approval of the airing, release or exhibitions of the advertising material that may subsequently be produced.

SECTION 17. Recall of Permit –

Upon verified complaint, the Committee shall immediately recall a permit for the airing or exhibition of an advertising material. Thereafter, the Committee shall conduct a formal inquiry wherein the advertising firm or advertiser concerned will be given an opportunity to answer the complaint. Said inquiry shall be terminated within ten ( 10) days from the date of commencement thereof.

SECTION 18. Disapproval –

The Secretary of the Board shall notify the parties concerned of the disapproval of an application within five (5) days from the issuance of said decision. The notification shall be in writing and shall state the reason or reasons for the disapproval by the Committee.

SECTION 19. Reconsideration-

Within five (5) days from receipt of the decision, the aggrieved party may file a written request for reconsideration. The request for reconsideration shall clearly state the reasons or grounds in support thereof. The committee shall decide the request for reconsideration within fifteen (15) days from the date it receives the same. The decision of the Committee thereon shall be final.

SECTION 20. Favored Themes-

The Committee favors the use of the following themes in advertising materials for breastmilk substitute and supplement.:
a. The benefits and superiority of breast feeding.
b. Maternal nutrition and the preparation for the maintenance of breastfeeding.
c. The negative effect on breastfeeding of introducing partial bottlefeeding.
d. The difficulty of reversing the decision not the breast fccd.
e. The proper use of infant formula, where absolutely needed.
f. In general, such materials which positively show or emphasize the adverse and deleterious social and financial implications of bottle feeding and the health hazards associated with the improper usc of breastmilk substitutes and supplements.

SECTION 21. Prohibitions –

The following shall not be included in advertising materials
a. text or information which discourage or tend to undermine the benefits or superiority of breastfeeding or which idealize the use of breastmilk substitutes and supplements.
b. The term “humanized”, “maternallzed” or similar \vords in describing breastmilk substitutes and supplements.
c. Pictures or texts \vhich idealize the use of infant formula. However, graphics may be used for the easy identification of the product for illustration methods of preparation.

SECTION 22. Mandatory Notice-

All containers and labels of breastmilk substitutes and supplements shall carry a message, in Filipino or English, which states that breastfceding is superior to breastmilk substitutes of supplements; that breastmilk substitutes of supplements should only be used upon the advice of a health worker; and that improper preparation of said products can be hazardous to an infant’s health.
The notice shall be clearly and conspicuously printed on the container or label which is firmly attached to the packaging or wrapper of the breastmilk substitute of supplement.

SECTION 23 Violations –

Any person violating the provision of these Rules shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of Pl,OOO,OOO to P30,000,000 and/or imprisonment from two (2) months to one year, In addition, any license, permit or authority issued by the government to any marketing firm or personnel for the pursuit of their business or practice of their profession may, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Health, be suspended or revoked in case of repeated violations of the provisions of the “Milk Code” or these Rules.

SECTION 24 Effectivity –

These Rules shall take effect fifteen ( 15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Done in the City of Manila, this 26th day of May 1987