A price war between the two largest retailers in the Irish Republic could put them on a collision course with the Groceries Order, which bans below cost selling of many food items.

Irish independents lobby group RGDATA has claimed price cuts of more than 50% on babyfood at Tesco and Dunnes put the retailers in “flagrant breach” of the Order.

RGDATA director general Ailish Forde claimed discounts of more than 50% on products including SMA Progress, Milupa, Cow & Gate, Heinz Jars and Hipp Organic proved the retailers were either flouting the Groceries Order or massively profiteering on the products.Forde, who has asked the director of consumer affairs to investigate the promotions, added: “These two corporate bullies must not be allowed to flout the law by selling goods below cost. If they persist, they must be prosecuted and called to account.”

Tesco insisted it was not profiteering on the products, but declined to comment on whether it was selling them below cost.