US House Baby Examines Formula News Food Shortage

The US House of Representatives Oversight Committee said Friday it plans to investigate the four largest infant formula makers and find answers on how to increase production amid shortages across the country.

“Lack of infant formula is a crisis for American families,” the committee tweeted.

ABC News reports that US spokeswoman Carolyn Maloney, who heads the committee, has sent letters to Abbott Nutrition, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestle America and Perigo seeking information.

“The lack of a national formula poses a threat to the health and financial security of infants and families in communities across the country, especially low-income people who have historically experienced health inequalities, including food insecurity,” the letter explained. “

The investigation, which focuses on issues such as potential prices, is Washington’s latest attempt to address the shortage.

Abbott Laboratories recalled some infant formula in February, following complaints that babies who ate the products, including the sturgeon and some similac products made at the Michigan plant, could contract the bacteria.

Supply Chain Barriers and Historic Inflation Nearly 40% of the country’s infant formula products are out of stock, according to data firm Datasium, exacerbating the formula shortage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card, less than half of babies born in the United States are exclusively breastfed in the first trimester.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with executives from infant formula manufacturers and retailers on Thursday, urging them to do everything possible to keep families close.

Brian Dees, director of the White House National Economic Council, said some manufacturers have been increasing production for weeks and officials are also focusing on how fast they can bring them to the shelves.

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Dias told CNN that retailers need to be more flexible with the types of formulations they can sell and that consumers need more flexibility in the formulas they can buy. , Especially through the WIC program for low incomes. Family.

The Women, Infant and Child Nutrition Program is a federal aid program run by the United States.

The White House says about half of the country’s infant formula – about $ 4 billion market – will be bought by participants using WIC benefits, and rules set by individual states will have a major impact on infant formula supply and distribution.

Dias said Friday that the White House would revisit a guideline issued for the first time since Abbott’s recall in February, to allow states to use WIC benefits on a wider range of products.

The White House said Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will announce new measures for imports of some infant formula products in the coming days and asked the Biden Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports of violent practices such as price fixing.

Dias did not predict how long the shortage would last.

“It simply came to our notice then. It will not be resolved in a day or a week, ”he said.

Two other House committees announced inquiries into the deficit.

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