The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a "public warning" against a Facebook group that FDA says violated the Milk Code.
"The public is warned that claims on the use of goat’s milk through the Facebook group Dairy Goat Philippines as an alternate or substitute for breastmilk undermine the importance and relevance of breastfeeding as the source of adequate and safe nutrition for infants," the FDA's advisory said as posted on its website. The advisory also stated that claiming a product is a substitute for breastmilk is a direct violation of Executive Order No. 51 or the National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplement and Other Related Products – a law more popularly known as "The Milk Code."
The FDA's stern warning is based on a claim that FDA says Dairy Goat Philippines made on its Facebook page. The group, which has sinced changed its name to "Dairy Goat Smart Mom," says goat's milk "is secreted via the apocrine secretion process, which means it has more bio-active components essential for infant development.” It went on to say that “[Goat’s milk] has a unique protein profile, which makes it easy to digest, thus leading to better bowel movement. Finally, its protein quality is just right; which makes goat milk ideal for babies who are prone to allergies."
Here's a screen cap that the FDA attached to its circular about the group's violation.
The Facebook page still posts about the benefits about goat's milk, but each post now contains a disclaimer breastmilk substitutes. Its most recent post (as of this writing) claims that the protein Alpha S1 Casein in goat’s milk is lower compared to that of cow’s milk, making it easier for children to digest.
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The FDA, in its advisory, stresses and reminds the public of the Department of Health (DOH) Circular No. 2008-0006, which reads: "Breast milk is best for babies up to two years of age and beyond. There is no substitute for breast milk. Infants six months onwards should be given fresh, indigenous, and natural foods in combination with continued breastfeeding. The use of infant formula/milk supplements must only be upon the advice of a health professional."
According to Inquirer.net, under the law, false claims could lead to imprisonment of two months up to one year, and paying fines ranging from P1,000 to P30,000.