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ACCC re-authorises infant formula deal

The consumer watchdog has again endorsed an agreement that stops makers and importers of infant formula from advertising formula for babies aged under 12 months directly to the public.

The Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (MAIF) agreement is designed to promote breastfeeding in Australia and give effect to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) marketing code on breast-milk substitutes.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has authorised the MAIF agreement since 1992.

The ACCC's latest authorisation is for five years.

The ACCC said on Friday that views had differed on the appropriate length of time for authorisation given anticipated changes to WHO recommendations on the issue.

Views ranged from to two 10 years..

Authorisation by the ACCC provides protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under competition laws.