Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (2163)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

2163. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Health the status the implementation of Action Item 3.13 of the National Breastfeeding Action Plan which pertains to the WHO Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36717/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this Parliamentary Question relates to an operational issue, it is a matter for the HSE. However, members of the Oireachtas are advised that the HSE is currently unable to access the information to answer Parliamentary Questions due to the recent cyber-attack, which has required a temporary shut-down of HSE IT systems. The disruption to service is on-going, and the HSE is working hard to restore its IT capacity and resume normal services. Members of the Oireachtas will be advised as soon as the HSE is again in a position to provide responses to PQs and are encouraged to resubmit their Parliamentary Questions at that point.

However, I can advise the Deputy that promoting an increase in the number of new mothers breastfeeding is a priority in the Healthy Ireland Strategic Action plan 2021-2025. Infant formula is needed as not all babies are breastfed. 2021 is the year of the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes which is aimed at protecting children and families from inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitute products. The Code covers infant formula products up to the age of 3 years. I am advised that the HSE are working to strengthen compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes through partnership and cross sectoral working.

Question No. 2164 answered with Question No. 1891.