The National Consumer Agency has warned that a ban on below-cost selling of milk and other groceries would lead to higher prices for shoppers.
The Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture and Food published a report yesterday calling for the ban in order to protect food producers from being paid too little to stay in business.
The report also called for legislation forcing supermarkets and food producers to disclose their profit margins in Ireland to see if they are creaming it at the expense of consumers.
However, the National Consumer Agency (NCA) said prohibiting low-cost selling could lead to higher prices, and might not even benefit producers if retailers simply increased their profit margins.
Committee chairman Andrew Doyle said it would hugely improve transparency if big supermarket chains published their profit figures for Ireland.
"There was a leaked document which said Ireland was the honey pot for one of the major retailers," he said.
The cross-party report specifically called for a ban on below-cost selling of milk and minimum prices for alcohol – with the latter proposal already backed by government.
A statutory code of conduct would safeguard the family farm structure and producers, and make the retail sector more transparent, the report found.
The Irish Farmers' Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association called for the report's proposals to be implemented immediately.