Girolamo Sirchia, Italian minister for health, has reached an agreement with producers, wholesalers and retailers of powdered baby milk to reduce the price to consumers by an average 13 per kilo. The price cuts are expected to take effect from the beginning of December.

Consumer associations have been demanding a price reduction for several months on the basis that identical products are being sold in other European countries at less than half the price being charged in Italy. Minister Sirchia has also announced new rules prohibiting baby milk producers from distributing free samples to hospital maternity units, limiting the amount of gifts that powdered milk manufacturers may give to doctors and cutting the amount of sponsorship that they may provide for medical conferences.