An ongoing nationwide infant formula shortage is reaching crisis levels as retailers limit sales amid empty store shelves.
An ongoing infant formula shortage is reaching crisis levels as retailers limit sales amid empty store shelves nationwide.
- The shortage is a result of supply chain challenges, a slow FDA and Biden administration response, inflation, and a massive recall at Abbott Nutrition, a major formula manufacturer.
- Over 40 percent of large retail stores are out of stock nationwide, up from 31 percent in mid-April.
- Retailers like Amazon, CVS and Walgreens have imposed limits on the amount of formula people can buy to three baby formula products per purchase (with a four per purchase limit at Target).
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the FDA is “working around the clock” to address the shortage. She acknowledged the White House had limited options, saying, “I don’t believe there’s a national stockpile of baby formula.”
- The shortage comes amid rising inflation, although the April inflation rate fell slightly to an 8.3 percent annual rate, the first (albeit small) decrease in eight months.
- The Washington Post reported on an FDA whistleblower who claims the agency was aware of problems at the Abbott Nutrition plant as early as October, but the notoriously slothful FDA didn’t get around to inspecting the plant until January. The FDA’s anemic response has sent a clear message to parents: “you’re on your own.”
- The New York Times covered the desperate measures some parents have been forced to take, including driving hours to search for supplies, rationing, watering down formula and using recalled formulas.
- CNN interviewed a formula manufacturer, who did not offer reassuring news. The CEO of a San Francisco-based seller of organic baby formula said, “This is a crisis. We can’t flip a switch and make a lot more formula.”
- National Review assessed other contributors to the crisis, including a slow-moving federal government and the high rates of organized retail theft of baby formula.
- The Wall Street Journal investigated the root causes of the shortage, blaming the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and the FDA shutdown of Abbott Nutrition for the crisis.
- Fox News reported Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA) wrote to the FDA demanding they work quickly to address the shortage. They wrote, “”We write today to express great concern with the ongoing shortage of infant formula across the United States… As moms ourselves, we know the stress this is causing in so many households.” They blamed the Biden administration’s “inflationary policies” for the shortage.
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© Dominic Moore, 2022