Calls for price cap on baby formula as prices soar with some taking ‘extreme measures’ to feed their children
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People are calling for a cap on the price of baby formula as the cost of it has soared in price. Data from First Steps Nutrition has revealed that the price of the cheapest brand of formula has increased in price by 45 percent in the last two years.
Speaking to Sky News, mother-of-two Kerry Redmond has backed calls for a cap on the price of baby formula, and described the ‘dread’ that she feels when entering a supermarket to purchase the product.
She said: "You feel uncomfortable even walking down the baby aisle looking at the baby milk because the staff think ‘oh they are going to nick that’.
"It happened recently... I paid for my milk, and I went out the shop and the security guard followed me to the car because he thought I had nicked that milk and I had the receipt in my hand. You are treated as a criminal just because you want to go and buy baby milk."
Ms Redmond also expressed her outrage by situations arising from the soaring costs where some families are resorting to unsafe feeding. She has started a petition calling on the government to help parents.
"When your child is hungry," she said, "I would go to the end of the world and back to feed my kids but with everything going up it’s just not physically possible. It’s disgusting, I’m appalled by it. They have to do something."
An investigation by Sky News revealed that parents are taking more extreme steps to feed their babies due to soaring costs, including watering down feeds, substituting formula with condensed milk, stealing from shops and more.
Alison Thewliss MP, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding, told Sky News: "The net effect is children growing up with developmental issues because they haven’t had the proper nutrition that is needed.
"That’s the kind of thing you see in countries where there has been famine or malnutrition or war. That should not be happening in the United Kingdom in 2023."
Kendamil, the only baby formula manufacturer in the UK admitted that companies could be doing more. Their commercial director, Will McMahon, spoke to Sky News, saying: "We can’t ignore the macroeconomic shocks that we’ve had and the COVID disruptions to supply chains, the war in Ukraine and the massive impact on raw material inflation, energy price inflation. It is real.
"It’s been toughest on parents and it’s devastating to see… but it is the result of consistent cost price inflation led by the multinational conglomerates that control this market. Where we would like more transparency is about the enormous price discrepancies between very similar baby formulas."