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The Third China International Infant Formula Conference and 2020 China Maternal & Infant Nutrition Education Summit Held in Changsha
   On November 3-4, the third China International Infant Formula Conference & 2020 China Maternal and Infant Nutrition Education Summit was held in Changsha by the CNHFA.
  Bian Zhenjia, President of the CNHFA, said that thanks to the two-child policy, China's infant milk powder market has continued to expand since 2016. It has become the world's second largest consumer market for infants and children, with a market size of nearly RMB 200 billion in 2019.
  Bian Zhenjia mentioned that in recent years, the Chinese government has issued a series of policies to "improve the quality and reputation of domestic infant formula products" and "implement quality improvement campaigns". At the same time, the regulatory authorities have introduced the strictest management policies in history. As a result, product quality has taken a qualitative leap, with all physical, chemical, and hygiene indicators higher than the National Standard for Raw Milk and reaching the level of developed countries, such as the United States and the European Union. With the unremitting efforts of the government and the industry, the quality of infant formula has improved significantly, and the pass rate of sampling inspection has increased year by year. More than 1,300 products from over 160 approved enterprises have reached a pass rate of 99.8% in 2019, ranking at the forefront of the food industry. It can be said that the quality and safety of China's infant formula products is at its best level in history.
  Gao Tian, Deputy Minister of China Affairs, New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries, said that infant formula products account for 12.6% of New Zealand's total dairy exports and China is the largest import market. Cooperation between the two sides covers trade, investment and government cooperation. In addition, the two sides have jointly developed regulatory standards.
  The imminent implementation of the new national standard for infant formula has posed greater challenges for enterprises to upgrade their formulations and improve product quality. The following guests shared their views on domestic and international standards and regulation of infant formula: Li Xiaoyu, Director of the Infant Formula Registration Division, Department of Special Food Safety Regulation, State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR); Long Jihong, Head of the Infant Formula Product Formulation Division, Food Review Centre, SAMR; Liang Dong, Researcher of the National Centre for Food Safety Assessment (CFSA), Jenny Reid (video), Member of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, and Susan Morris (video), Chief Consultant of Contaminant Residue Monitoring Division, Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand.
  At the China Maternal and Infant Nutrition Education Summit held after the conference, a number of experts pointed out that the concept of breastfeeding is now receiving more and more attention, and that powdered infant formula and complementary infant foods can play a supplementary role for infants to gain taste perception and learn chewing functions.
  Wang Zhixu, a professor at the School of Public Health of Nanjing Medical University, mentioned that infants' protection before birth is provided by the mother, and when they are separated from the mother, their digestive and absorption capacities are still not mature enough to resist external damage. After birth, they need a lot of energy to grow and develop, but their digestion and metabolism are unmatured, so they can only rely on breast milk. He concluded that breastfeeding is the most natural way developed during human evolution and no artificial way can easily replace its advantages. He added that the risk of chronic diseases in infants is lowest under breastfeeding. He believes that the ideal state is to use powdered infant formula and complementary foods for infants and young children as a supplement to breast milk.
  Cui Yutao, Director of Dr. Cuiyutao Healthcare Co., Ltd, attended the conference remotely and said that infant and maternal nutrition is now receiving more public attention, and as an industry worker, it is very important to bring more scientific and positive professional information to the public. He noted, "I am glad to work together with the CNHFA to promote the development of the industry and the popularisation of infant and maternal nutrition knowledge."
  Liu Suiqian, Clinical Dietitian at Beijing Family United Healthcare (FUH), said that mothers born in the 1970s or 1980s who have two or three children still lack trust in infant formulae or complementary foods. Instead, they prefer to process food by themselves, which may have hidden risks due to the safety of raw materials and may affect the health of their children. She also mentioned that post-90s and post-95s mothers are now very self-conscious and want feed their children in a fast and convenient way. However, there is still a lack of proper infant food products in the market, so they have to buy quality products from the overseas markets. Liu also suggested that nutrition education should continue to be promoted to avoid nutritional risks.
  Li Bin, a senior lawyer from Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, gave a wonderful  speech on consumer rights protection for maternal and child products. He said that food safety is a top priority and mentioned that the new Food Safety Law revised in 2015 has imposed the most stringent standards, the most serious accountability and the most severe penalties, bringing great challenges to the industry. In terms of "how to protect the rights and interests of consumers", he noted that all food companies should regulate themselves through self-restraint mechanisms. Through case studies, he gave an insight into how consumer protection must be carried out at three levels: civil and criminal law, administrative authorities and criminal liability.
  Representatives from Wyeth and Yili also shared their views on "research and innovative application of breast milk nutrients". Zhang Shouwen, former Deputy Director of the Heilongjiang Food and Drug Administration, and Yang Yantao, Chairman-in-Office of the CNHFA's Professional Committee on Infant Supplementary Food, attended and chaired the conference.