White House Announces Measures to Address Baby Formula Shortage

The White House announced a series of measures on May 12 to address supply shortages of baby formula across the United States, after President Joe Biden held discussions with manufacturers and retailers.

The measures include reducing red tape, cracking down on any price gouging, and increasing imports of baby formula.

The Department of Agriculture is also working with states to allow government nutritional assistance recipients more flexibility in buying varieties of baby formula, according to a fact sheet from the White House.

A shortage of baby formula began in the early days of the pandemic and it has worsened in recent weeks due to labor shortages and a major product recall by Abbott Nutrition, the largest formula manufacturer in the U.S.

Abbott recalled several lines of powdered formula in February due to concerns about bacterial contamination in its facility in Sturgis, Michigan after four infants fell ill and two died.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing that the administration has been working on addressing the shortage “for weeks and months now.”

The announcement of measures came after Biden met with retailers and baby formula manufacturers to discuss the steps companies are taking to address the shortage.

According to a statement from the White House, Biden discussed Reckitt and Gerber’s efforts to increase production to make up for much of the loss of production by Abbott.

Biden also pledged to the companies that his administration will work closely with them to identify additional steps, on top of the measures announced today.

According to data from real-time data tracking agency Datasembly on May 10, over 40% of baby formula supplies were out of stock across the country in the week ending May 8.


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