Due to large-scale baby formula recalls, there has been an extreme shortage of baby formula across the United States for weeks. But President Biden has assured his administration is working to end the shortage and ensure every parent has access to the formula they need for their infant.
What Caused the Shortage?
Producers of baby food and formula, Abbott Laboratories, shut down its manufacturing plant in Michigan, early this year after its formula caused severe illness among infants and triggered a federal investigation. Because Abbot is the largest domestic producer of baby formula and the industry has been largely closed to imports, this caused a massive shortage of formula in the United States.
An almost empty baby formula display shelf is seen at a Target store in Orlando, May 8, 2022.
Paul Hennessy—SOPA Images/Shutterstock
In the last week of April, about 40 percent of instant formula for babies was out of stock in over 11,000 stores across the U.S. More than 50 percent of all available baby formula in stores was sold out during the same time.
Abbott Laboratories says it could take nearly eight weeks for it to get its products back into stores.
Biden Administration Takes Action to End the Shortage
Eight weeks is too long for American families to wait to get access to baby formula again. That’s why the Biden administration is taking urgent steps to allow manufacturers to import instant formula to help deal with the shortage.
President Biden met with retailers and manufacturers, including Walmart, Target, Gerber and Reckitt, as well as the FDA, to discuss measures required to get these safe, imported formulas onto American shelves as soon as possible.
The USDA is also working with states to make it easier for vulnerable families to have access to baby formulas they need with their WIC benefits, urging states to allow WIC recipients to use their benefits on a variety of products even if specific formulas are out of stock.
Additionally, the administration has urged the FTC and state attorney generals to crack down on price hikes or any unfair market practices that arise, due to the shortage of baby formulas.
Resources for Parents looking for baby formula
Parents searching for formulas for their babies can check out this link for other alternatives to help them feed their babies amid the shortage. The White House has also unveiled a website where parents can get formulas, including contacts of companies, food banks and health care providers.