IFC denies link to toned-down ads

WASHINGTON: The US DepĀ­artment of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the infant formula milk industry are defending their actions after a news outlet revealed outside influences may have led federal health officials to adjust an ad campaign.

The Washington Post said the HHS toned down its ads touting the benefits of breastfeeding after lobbying by organisations associated with the formula industry.

Christina Pearson, acting assistant secretary for public affairs at the HHS, denied the ads were changed bec­ause of International Formula Council (IFC) lobbying. Mardi Mountford, executive vice president of IFC, confirmed the organisation reached out to HHS officials, but said a ‘broad collation of groups’ had concerns with the campaign.

And she disputed that the ads, which aired between 2003 and 2005, were changed at the behest of the industry.

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