By Bobboi U. A. (Mrs) MNIFST, Chief Regulatory Officer, Establishment Inspection Directorate, NAFDAC, Abuja and Owoade Adeyinka Olabisi Laboratory Technologist II, Establishment Inspection Directorate, NAFDAC, Abuja .

Aim of the Code

The code aims to protect breastfeeding by ensuring appropriate marketing and distribution of BMS.

Scope of the Code

The code applies to BMS when marketed or otherwise represented as a partial or total replacement for breast milk.

BMS include foods and beverages such as:


  • Infant Formula
  • Follow-UP Milks
  • Other Milk products
  • Baby Juices and Teas
  • Cereals and vegetable Mixes

The code also applies to feeding Bottles, Teats and Pacifiers (for Nigerian Regulation)

Since exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months, all complementary foods marketed or otherwise represented for use before six months are regarded as BMS.


Provisions of the Code

  • Advertising: No advertising of the products under the code to the public.
  • Samples: No free samples to mothers, their families or health care workers
  • Health care Facilities: No promotion of products, i.e no product displays, posters, calendars or distribution of promotional materials. No use of mother craft nurses or similar company-paid personnel.
  • Health care Workers: No gifts or samples to health care workers, product information must be factual and scientific.
  • Supplies: No free or low-cost supplies of BMS to any part of the health care system.
  • Information: Information and education materials must explain the benefits associated with breast feeding and the hazards of using infant formula.
  • Labels: Product label must clearly state the superiority of breastfeeding, the need for advice of a health care worker and a warning about health hazards. No pictures of infants, other pictures, or text idealizing the use of infant formula should be indicated on product label.
  • Quality: unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies. All products should be of high quality (Codex Alimentarius Standard) and take account of the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used.
  • Implementation and Monitoring:
    • Governments to give effect to the Code through national regulations- can call on WHO and UNICEF for assistance
    • Government responsible for monitoring application of code and reporting back to WHO every year.
    • NGOs and professional groups have a role in monitoring the code.
    • Manufacturers and distributors are responsible for monitoring their marketing practices and for taking steps to ensure that their conduct at every level conforms to the provisions of the code.



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