What’s Behind America’s Baby Formula Shortage?

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May 20, 2022

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(NEW YORK) — U.S. stores are running low on baby formula. It has left parents of newborns scrambling to buy food for their children.

“It was scary when we first heard about it,” an expecting parent, Axelle, said next to an empty aisle normally stocked with baby formula. “We found a place near us so we got a couple of cans as like a safety net, so we’re just covering our bases.”

More than 40% of stores nationwide are reporting they are out of stock of all baby formula. That rate is even higher in some southern states. It’s forced some parents to drive to extensive lengths to find food for their children.

The shortage was preempted by a recall at the Sturgis, Michigan Abbott manufacturing facility. The FDA has been in correspondence with Abbott to tighten security protocols and restart production. Just yesterday, the company and the FDA announced a plan to reopen the facility in hopes to ease the shortage.

The FDA is also publicly encouraging the importation of safe infant formula.

“The FDA is leaving no stone unturned to further increase the availability of infant formula,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said. “We are doing everything in our power as part of the all-of-government efforts to ensure there’s adequate product available wherever and whenever parents and caregivers need it.”

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