Baby formula row could spur post-Brexit store deals review
Laws banning supermarket deals on baby formula could be reviewed under Brexit, the Government has said.
EU regulations dictate that shops may not promote infant formula and follow up formula or include it in reward points schemes.
The legislation also curbs advertising, labelling and presentation of products in supermarket aisles.
Stores face being reprimanded if they break the rules, which were introduced to promote breast feeding as a preferred method of feeding babies.
The Department of Health said the Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula Regulations, introduced in 2007, could be reconsidered after the story of one mother's clash with a supermarket went viral.
"These rules are currently in place because of EU law. But our Great Repeal Bill means than when we leave the EU laws such as these will be debated and controlled by the UK Parliament," a spokeswoman said.
Laura Leeks complained to Tesco after she found she was unable to get a refund on her parking ticket at a store in Braintree, Essex, because she had only bought baby formula.
Her baby boy was unable to breast feed due to medical reasons and Ms Leeks felt she was being discriminated against when told by customer services that her parking ticket refund would count as a promotion.
"I am delighted that you as a company support breast feeding however I cannot accept that your policies lead to your staff shaming women who for whatever reason are using baby formula," she wrote in a post on the supermarket's Facebook page.
Tesco said that its policy was in fact due to it being bound by the EU regulations that are part of British law.
A spokeswoman said: "We always strive to provide the best possible service for our customers and we understand Ms Leeks' request. However, due to UK law we cannot promote baby formula in any way, including the offering of a parking voucher."
Patti Rundall from Baby Milk Action, which campaigns to stop "misleading" information from the baby feeding industry, backed the EU regulations.
She told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "It's a side issue to talk about car parking when the whole point of this very good EU law, that has been in place, in one form or another since 1991/92, and stems from a very important WHO recommendation, (is) that there should be no promotion of breast milk substitutes."