Place formula milk under Price Control Act

The recent furore over the runaway prices of baby formula milk is understandable.

But besides tackling the issue of misleading nutritional and health claims made by formula milk manufacturers, another option is to place baby formula milk under the existing Price Control Act.

This Act allows the Government, via the Price Controller, to fix the maximum price of certain goods.

This action will encourage formula milk manufacturers to make the prices of their premium products more comparable to those found in most other countries.

It will also promote a more level playing field for lesser known brands whose products have been certified to be equally safe and nutritionally adequate.

Finally, to curb the unsavoury practice by formula milk manufacturers who engage in aggressive marketing tactics such as providing sponsorships and payments to private hospitals to distribute their products, it may be useful to withhold information on the brand of formula milk used in all hospitals to new parents except in cases where that particular product is known to elicit an adverse medical reaction in the child.

Daniel Ng Peng Keat (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'Place formula milk under Price Control Act'. Print Edition | Subscribe