Minister of State Josephine Teo dismissed Singaporeans’ complaints over rising milk powder pricing and said that she would just buy “whatever cheapest on sale”:
“Milk is milk, however fancy the marketing. As long as AVA approves its import, the milk is good enough. I had no reason to pay more and would buy whatever was cheapest or on sale.”
The PAP Minister quoted the recent report by government agency, Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), claiming that marketing is the reason behind soaring milk powder prices. However the CCS was unable to gather evidence of price fixing or explain why milk powder of the same type in Singapore cost more than twice the price overseas. Milk powder prices inflated 150% between 2010 and 2014, but there has been no explanation from the CCS or the government.
Minister Josephine Teo then called for Singapore mothers to turn to breast-feeding and claimed that milk powder is no longer needed after the baby turned one year old:
“Actually, breastmilk is best and both the Health Promotion Board, Singapore and World Health Organization (WHO) encourage mothers to breastfeed for at least 12 months. However, for parents who need to supplement with formula, all brands sold in #Singapore, regardless of price, provide enough nutrition for babies to grow healthily. After the child turns one, milk powder isn’t even needed. Fresh cow’s milk, as part of a balanced diet, works well enough.”
Minister Josephine Teo heads the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and under her lead over the country’s population matters, Singapore registered the lowest birth rate in the world consecutively for the past 10 years.