Thailand is set to introduce new laws to control marketing and promotions used for infant and toddler food.

The country’s national legislative assembly has voted unanimously to introduce the Control of Marketing of Infant and Young Child Food Act.

The new regulations will ban manufacturers, importers and distributors of formula milk products from giving out free samples and discount coupons and from contacting pregnant women or their families to promote or give advice about the products. 

An announcement on the new laws is expected to appear in the Royal Gazette of Thailand soon and then become effective 60 days later, UNICEF Thailand confirmed to just-food.

“For too long, Thailand has had one of the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates in the region, and had been one of the few countries in the region with no law to protect against marketing of breast milk substitutes,” Thomas Davin, UNICEF’s representative for Thailand, said.

“The passing of this law marks Thailand’s milestone step in joining other countries such as the Philippines, India and Nepal in implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, an internationally-agreed measure to address the negative impact of aggressive marketing practices of formula milk on effective breast-feeding practices in a country.”