Activists and charities say Facebook is putting babies at risk by failing to stop open baby formula containers being traded online.
it is in a Sky News investigates desperate measures some families had to take Because they cannot afford the rising price of infant formula.
Hartlepool Baby Bank highlights ‘terrible’ trade in opened or used baby formula containers traded online Facebook market.
Hartlepool Baby Bank founder Emilie De Bruijn told Sky News that, in her opinion, nothing has changed at the site. “If anything, it seems to be worse,” she said.
“There’s a huge list, and it’s not a small list, it’s something that’s recurring so often that major work needs to be done on it.”
Sky News found at least 75 ads on Facebook Marketplace on Wednesday, 16 of which appeared to promote open-bottle formula, which baby health experts have described as “unsafe”.
Facebook parent company yuanThe company that operates the platform told Sky News they were acting on our investigation.
‘Strong ban needed’
After Sky News showed the tech giant one of dozens of live ads featuring open formula containers, a Meta spokesperson said: “We do not allow the sale of infant nutritional formula on Facebook Marketplace and we will Continue to remove listings that violate our rules, as we did in this case.”
In response, Ms De Bruijn called for stronger action. “Weaknesses in their system to get these lists through mean babies end up in hospital after ingesting open-form formula.
“It needs an immediate, strong injunction to protect our most vulnerable. These babies have no voice. Facebook must stand up for them.”
She directly called on Nick Clegg, Meta’s head of global affairs, former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader, to intervene on behalf of British babies.
“I implore people like Nick Clegg who know these families … who were his constituents, to do more … just do something, not words, deeds.”
Infant feeding expert and pediatrician Dr Vicky Thomas said: “The risks are clear – opened canned food may not be safe.
“They may contain bacteria that could make babies uncomfortable, or contain ingredients that are not advertised milk and therefore not safe for babies.
“While families should never be in the position of having to source potentially unsafe products from Facebook, the organization has a responsibility to monitor and take action.”
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Meta did not respond to Sky News’ request for an interview to discuss their responses further.
In Westminster on Tuesday afternoon, MPs examined another issue in the households report – the value of Health Start vouchers – which did not follow inflation.
They do not include the cost of a tub of standard formula.
“Necessities, not luxuries”
Labour’s Andrew West will then chair the debate More and more MPs express concern on the impact of high prices.
The average price of formula in the UK has risen by 24% over the past two years, with the cheapest brand up 45% over the same period, according to First Steps Nutrition.
Mother Payzee Malika, from west London, has started crowdfunding to buy formula for families in need.
“This shouldn’t be happening in modern Britain,” she said.
“Formula is a necessity, not a luxury.
“While we wait for the government to acknowledge this and act, babies still need to be fed and as a community we need to come together and do something about it.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Sky News he was sorry to hear about the situation some families found themselves in but said help was available to cope Cost of living.