Formula milk prices: Government needs to step in

The reports on formula milk companies tying up with private hospitals to directly or indirectly promote their brands is a cause for concern (Call to end formula milk firms' aggressive tactics, and Spotlight on tie-ups between milk firms, private hospitals; both published on May 11).

It is very likely that consumers are paying for the aggressive advertising of these commercial entities - otherwise, how do we explain the steep rise in the price of infant milk?

The increasing high price eats into the earnings of many young parents who are just starting a family.

How do we expect them to answer the call by the Government to have more children under such circumstances?

Already, there are reports of people stealing milk powder from supermarkets and shops.

It will be a sad day for Singapore if parents are charged in court for stealing infant milk powder to feed their children.

The Government ought to act and not leave it to market forces as milk powder is not a luxury but a necessity like rice, sugar and oil.

Perhaps NTUC FairPrice can come up with its own in-house brand to stabilise the prices.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'Formula milk prices: Government needs to step in'. Print Edition | Subscribe