Tesco pulls ‘Price Drop’ infant formula promotion following Baby Milk Action complaint

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Tesco should be fined for breaking criminal law, says Baby Milk Action

Press release 4 October 2011


Tesco promotionTesco has pulled a ‘Price Drop’ promotion for infant formula from stores across the country following a complaint from the campaign group Baby Milk Action, which contacted the company and Trading Standards on behalf of the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG). The promotion, which included prominent ‘Price Drop’ point-of-sale promotion and price reductions, is illegal under the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations. Tesco claimed that infant formula had been included in the promotion accidently. It said it had made a similar mistake on its website, which it claims it has also corrected.

Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action and coordinator of the BFLG monitoring project, said:

“We started to receive reports from members of the public through our online monitoring system last week and immediately contacted Tesco and Trading Standards. While we welcome this swift action from Tesco, it has broken criminal law, for which there is no excuse. We await the response from Trading Standards and hope that the fines set out in the law are applied for every instance of promotion as a deterrent. Illegal promotion by retailers continues to be common and it seems that they believe they can get away with it by just saying ‘sorry’ if they are caught out.”

Further details and images of violations of the marketing requirements are available at:


Contact Information: 

Patti Rundall, Baby Milk Action : 07786 523493

Mike Brady, Baby Milk Action: 020 3239 9222


Notes for editors

  1. BFLG consists of 23 leading health worker and mother support groups working for UK legislation to be brought into line with international standards.
  2. Manufacturers and distributors of breastmilk substitutes should also abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant Resolutions of the World Health Assembly. These were adopted with the observation: “in view of the vulnerability of infants in the early months of life and the risks involved in inappropriate feeding practices, including the unnecessary and improper use of breastmilk substitutes, the marketing of breastmilk substitutes requires special treatment, which makes usual marketing practices unsuitable for these products.”
  3. Violations of the Code and Resolutions have been described as “commonplace” in the UK by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, which has called on the Government to fully implement these measures in legislation.
  4. In March 2011 the coalition government instead scrapped the Infant Feeding Coordinator posts in the Department of Health and government support for National Breastfeeding Week. BFLG is promoting an ePetition campaign calling for a Parliamentary debate.


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