Home Update: What’s the latest on the nationwide baby formula shortage?

Update: What’s the latest on the nationwide baby formula shortage?

infant formula
(© Marko Balenovic – stock.adobe.com)

Politicians are going out of their way to let people know that they’re doing something about the baby formula shortage.

What’s also true: nothing really seems to be getting done.

The latest is that the FDA announced last night  that it will reduce restrictions on baby formula imports, which, that seems like something it could have done weeks ago.

“I am encouraged by the FDA’s announcement, as I have been pressing the administration to seriously consider boosting imports of formula. However, we need to reserve final judgement until we actually see baby formula back on the shelves in Virginia and across the country,” Seventh District Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said. “As a mom who used formula for all three of my daughters, I cannot imagine the worry of parents in this moment. In the days ahead, I will keep pushing for a strategy that will respond to their concerns, increase production here at home, hold regulators accountable, and lower prices for everyday consumers.”

The shortage is the result of Abbott, the nation’s largest baby formula manufacturer, having to shut down its production facility in Michigan due to issues with bacterial contamination that led to the deaths of two infants.

The FDA has reached a consent agreement with Abbott addressing the conditions at the plant that could allow the plant to reopen as soon as two weeks from now, but even then, it’s not likely that formula from the facility will reach store shelves until the first couple of weeks of July, at the earliest.

“Relief should be coming soon,” Sen. Tim Kaine said today. “But if you have a youngster and this is causing you direct challenge, you should speak to your health care provider about alternative feeding strategies or you should also, if you’re eligible for the WIC program, go to signupwic.com and you can get information about how the WIC program might help you through this difficult time. The good news is we’re going to solve it, but we’ve got to do it as quickly as we can.”

Story by Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].