White House Announces Plan To Combat Baby Formula Shortage
The White House announced a plan on Thursday to address the baby formula shortage heightened by the Abbott Nutrition recall that began in February. The recall was sparked after infants came down with bacterial infections following intake of formula produced at the Michigan facility.
Abbott Nutrition maintains that there is no connection between their formula and the babies’ illnesses.
President Joe Biden met with retailers including Target, Walmart and Gerber to come up with a plan to get baby formula back on the shelves swiftly and safely.
In a statement, the President vowed to simplify product offerings allowing manufacturers to increase speed and amount of production. He also called on the Federal Trade Commission and state attorney generals to work together to stop unfair market prices. According to the statement, Biden will also push for increased imports of baby formula since the U.S. typically produces 98%.
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The out-of-stock rate for infant formula reached 43% last week. A stable rate should fall between two and eight percent.
Though the administration’s announcement answered what is being done to combat the issue in the long run, White House press secretary Jen Psaki didn’t have many short-term answers to the problem.
“I would say those are important public health questions,” she responded after being asked what parents who can’t find formula or have access to breast milk can do. “But … what I can convey to all of you is what we’re doing to address exactly that concern, which is taking every step we can to ensure there is supply on store shelves and we have increased the supply over the last four weeks.”
Psaki’s Friday statement regarding formula imports reported that the FDA would make additional announcements about their plan in the coming week.
WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki gives an update on nationwide baby formula shortage: "The FDA just released a statement about importing formula from abroad." pic.twitter.com/A0YL4RM8Un
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 13, 2022
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