Friday, February 15, 2008

Making laws work

Brief mention of a couple of stories in the media.

Firstly, our submission to a UK Government consultation on behalf of the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG) has been picked up by a specialist news website. See:
http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?n=83296-bma-baby-milk-action

Our report, as I mentioned on Wednesday, is called "Trying to make the UK's weak formula law work" and is for a consultation on guidelines to accompany new fromula regulations. We want the government to learn the lessons from the failure of the previous regulations, introduced in 1995, and the monitoring of industry practices we conduct. If the new regulations and guidance notes don't work, the government has promised to revise them in a year's time. The industry is trying to disrupt this timetable by taking the government to the High Court.

Secondly, I've written recently about Nestlé being convicted of price-fixing in the formula market in Italy and being accused of price-fixing in the dairy market in South Africa and the confectionery market in North America. Now its offices have been raided in Germany by officials investigating price-fixing allegations there. See, for example:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aQZupjMq37uY&refer=europe

It remains to be seen whether Nestlé will be convicted in the dairy and confectionery investigations, which have been launched this year. It struck me as ironic with the formula conviction, which showed the major manufacturers in Italy colluded to inflate prices, is that I recall the industry claiming anti-trust legislation stops them from cooperating to stop violating the World Health Assembly marketing requirements.

2 comments:

Barbara said...

I hear the Lords are debating the Regulations tonight at 7.30 (Baroness Finlay (independent) who will lead the debate, with Lord Avebury (liberal) and Baroness Barker). Will you be able to let us know what happens Mike?

Barbara

Mike Brady said...

Certainly Barbara. Just keep an eye on the blog. This will be reported shortly.