“The FDA expects that the measures and steps it’s taking with infant formula manufacturers and others will mean more and more supply is on the way or on store shelves moving forward.”
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf. The U.S. will increase baby formula imports from overseas to help ease the shortage; the country's largest manufacturing plant is also set to reopen soon.
may 17, 2022
- Why It Matters: The baby formula shortage has been building up for months but has recently intensified, and stores such as Walmart and Target have placed limits on how much baby formula can be bought at once. The steps taken by the FDA and the Biden administration seek to reduce the shortage, although it could be weeks before shelves are considerably restocked.
- Background: Abbott Nutrition, a major manufacturer of baby formulas, paused production at a manufacturing plant in February and voluntarily recalled several baby formulas due to concerns about bacterial contamination after two infants died and two others were sickened.
- Recent Developments: Abbott Nutrition reached an agreement with the FDA that will allow it to reopen its factory once it is able to resolve safety protocols and procedures. After resuming manufacturing, Abbot said it could take eight to ten weeks before those products are available in stores.
- While Abbott Nutrition works to get formula on the shelves, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. will temporarily import baby formula to help minimize shortages. Typically, 98% of U.S. infant formula supply is made domestically.
- Something To Consider: Regulators have noted that based on national industry data, most U.S. stores still have an average of 80% of their formula inventory in stock. Some of the empty shelves seen recently may be due to panic buying.
US allows more baby formula imports to fight shortage (Associated Press)