Tesco baby feeding information: "Formula milk resembles mothers’ milk quite closely."

Tesco promotes breast pumps, breast pads, feeding bottles and formula on its website, including through a "Baby feeding buying guide" - a pdf archive of the page on 5 November 2013 is attached.

While this includes some of the information required on the importance of breastfeeding as set out in paragraph 24 of the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulatons (2007) (see the 'Law' section) it is incomplete and also includes comments that suggest breastfeeding may be difficult, such as "breast is best for at least the first six months, but it isn’t always possible for every new mum."

The section on "Choosing the right baby formula" states, "Formula milk resembles mothers’ milk quite closely."

The section on "Mixed feeding for babies" states, "Mixed feeding is switching between breast and bottle feeding. It’s for when you’ve expressed your milk or if you decide to introduce formula as a supplement to breastmilk."

No information is provided on "the possible negative effect on breast-feeding of introducing partial bottle-feeding" or "the difficulty of reversing the decision not to breast-feed" as required by the law (paragraph 24 (1) (d) and (e)).

Tesco is competing with independent sources of information, such as the Department of Health Start4Life guide to bottle feeding. This provides objective information on so-called "hungry baby milks", follow-on milks and "growing-up milks", stating these are not necessary. It also includes states, "Giving infant formula to a breastfed baby will reduce your breast-milk supply" and provides information on how to restart, warning: "This can be difficult because your milk supply will naturally reduce once you are not breastfeeding, but it can increase again to meet your baby’s needs."

Baby Milk Action has reported Tesco to Trading Standards for not complying with the regulations in promoting its products.