Rising baby food prices requires urgent action

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
20 February 2024
  • Government response not based in reality
  • UK regulator launches market study, CCPC must follow

Labour’s Senator Rebecca Moynihan has again raised alarm over the soaring price of baby formula, calling for immediate Government attention to address the pressing concerns of families across Ireland.

Senator Moynihan said

“The rapid rise in baby formula prices is not just an economic issue; it’s a public health crisis. Lower income families are disproportionately affected, forced to make difficult choices between essential nutrition and financial stability. The soaring prices of formula are squeezing already strained budgets, jeopardising the health and wellbeing of infants.

“The Government response in recent PQs on the matter completely misses the mark. While many families opt for breastfeeding, we cannot overlook the reality that not all can, or choose to do so. We need comprehensive solutions that prioritise accessibility and affordability for all. Simply hiring more lactation consultants does not address the needs of families who rely on formula.

“We know in the UK the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into the supply of infant formula. It is disappointing that, when raised with the CCPC, their response is to simply monitor the situation. This matter impacts daily and must be resolved. We could follow the example in Scotland where the Scottish Government has pledged to ensure “no baby in Scotland is left without the food they need to grow or thrive” and will be providing payments or shopping vouchers for families who need it. We need to do the same.

“The time for lip service is over; we call on Government to prioritise the welfare of families by implementing policies that will alleviate the harm caused by skyhigh baby formula prices. Additionally, we urge the CCPC to emulate the proactive approach of the CMA in the UK, conducting a thorough investigation into the supply chain dynamics of infant formula in Ireland.”

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