2010 - 2011 Annual Report of the Advisory Panel on the marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF)

Appendix B - Guidelines for Lodging Complaints About Alleged Breaches of the MAIF Agreement

Page last updated: 21 November 2011

The following Guidelines are for lodging complaints about alleged breaches of the MAIF Agreement and are intended to assist both complainants and subject companies to ensure that a fair and full review is conducted. Complaints should be lodged in writing.

What you should do before lodging a complaint with the APMAIF

Whenever possible, complainants should contact the subject company prior to lodging a complaint with the APMAIF, as a satisfactory explanation or solution may be immediately available.

Who can lodge a complaint?

Individuals and members of industry, community and consumer groups are able to lodge a complaint with the APMAIF about alleged breaches of the MAIF Agreement. However, inter-company complaints should not be used as a competitive tool. Before a complaint is lodged, companies should seek to have the issue resolved directly with the subject company, or through the Infant Nutrition Council’s competitive complaints process.

What you should include in the complaint?

Where possible, complaints should be submitted on a Complaint Form which can be downloaded from the APMAIF website. Complaints should include the following:

1. A summary page containing:
    • details of the product/activity and the companies involved;
    • if relevant, the title of promotional piece and date of publication;
    • date when alleged breach was identified;
    • where and how the material was obtained;
    • a brief description of the complaint, itemising specific claims and issues;
    • section/s of the MAIF Agreement alleged to be breached (if known); and
    • details of any attempts to resolve the matter with the companies involved.
2. If relevant, any supporting data cross-referenced to specific claims for medical, scientific and marketing based complaints.

3. A photocopy or original of the relevant promotional material.

4. Your contact details.

If these criteria are not met, the APMAIF may return the complaint to the complainant for further information.

Sending the complaint to the subject company for further information or comment

The Secretariat will forward the complaint to the relevant manufacturer or importer for further information or comment.

In seeking a response from the subject company, the Secretariat will forward only the relevant extract/s of the complainant’s letter and if available, a photocopy of the complaint material/s. The complainant’s identity will not be revealed to the subject company.

Response to the APMAIF by the subject company

When the subject company has received a request for further information about a complaint, the subject company should state whether or not the information supporting the complaint is correct and provide the following:
  • details of any attempts to resolve the matter with the complainant;
  • a brief summary of the response to each alleged breach;
  • substantiation of the specific claims at issue with full supporting data;
  • any other information requested by the Secretariat; and
  • the signature of the Chief Executive or delegate of the company.
The subject company’s response should be received by the Secretariat within 21 days (3 weeks). If this is not possible, the subject company should notify the Secretariat and provide an indication of when the response will be sent.

Where to send complaints

APMAIF Secretariat
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
MDP 802
GPO Box 9848
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Email: apmaif@health.gov.au

Secretariat telephone: (02) 6289 7358

Complaint forms and other APMAIF information can be obtained at: www.health.gov.au/apmaif