By Boyd Champness
MANDATORY labels on milk containers warning parents not to feed their infant children cows milk have been condemned by the Australian dairy industry.
The warnings will be on all drinking milk containers later this year under a code adopted by Australia and New Zealand.
According to The Weekly Times, the dairy industrys attempts to get the wording of the labels changed were initially rebuffed by the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) – the top food authority for both countries.
The warning states: “Health authorities recommend that this product (cows milk) not be used to replace breast milk or infant formulae products standardised to Standard 2.9.1 for infants under 12 months of age.”
Drinking-milk processing giants National Foods and Pauls Ltd have condemned the move, arguing ANZFA has failed to provide any scientific evidence as to why milk containers should carry the warning.
“Weve got no problem with positive statements on breast milk, but this warning makes milk sound like its bad for infants,” National Foods spokesman Ian Green told The Weekly Times.
“Its got the potential to unnerve pregnant women and result in people not feeding milk to their children at all,” he said.
An ANZFA spokesman said the new labelling requirement reflected both the Australian and New Zealand governments policy.
“Its also the advice of the National Health and Medical Research Council,” the spokesman said. “Their recommendation is that infants not be given cows milk.”