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Draft legislation to prohibit the promotion of infant formula products in Romania for children up to the age of two years has been submitted to the European Commission.

The proposals, if endorsed by the EU, would go beyond current EU law that bans the marketing of infant formula to children aged up to six months.

However, Romania has told the Commission: “The objective of this law is to create the legal framework needed to ensure the adequate and healthy nutrition of infants and young children up to two years of age – by protecting and promoting breast feeding in order to maintain or improve their health, by making sure that breast milk substitutes are used correctly when necessary, by regulating their marketing and by providing consistent, objective and accessible information in a format that is suitable for the public.”

In addition, the draft law outlines strict limits relating to advice given by health workers on breast feeding and formula as well as warnings that manufacturers must display on packaging.

According to the draft: “Informational and educational materials, whether written, audio or visual, dealing with the feeding of infants or young children up to two years of age, should include clear, detailed and accurate information about the importance of starting breast feeding as early as possible, the importance of exclusively breast feeding for six months and the importance of continuing to breast feed up to two years of age.”

Romania said breaches of the proposed new rules could lead to fines of up to RON100,000 (US$24,600).

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By GlobalData