New York Daily News
Pols seek answers in baby formula shortage
Rep. Carolyn Maloney demanded answers from manufacturers on Friday about the nationwide shortage of baby formula that has put parents and childcare providers on edge.
The New York Democrat wrote to the four companies that produce 90% of the baby formula sold in the U.S. asking what they are doing to improve the situation.
“The national formula shortage poses a threat to the health and economic security of infants and families in communities throughout the country—particularly those with less income who have historically experienced health inequities, including food insecurity,” Maloney, head of the oversight committee, wrote.
Maloney was joined by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) in the letters to Abbott, Mead Johnson, Nestle and Perrigo.
“It is critical that your company take all possible steps to increase the supply of formula and prevent price gouging,” the letter reads.
They also demanded that Abbott, the maker of Similac, provide documents about the closure of its Michigan plant due to a bacteria condition that led to recalls of formula nationwide.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ticked off a list of actions various Democratic-led committees are taking to address the situation including resolving supply chain disruptions.
“Right now the babies are crying and the babies are hungry — so we must take urgent action to protect their health and well-being,” Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter.
Like many parents across the nation, New Yorkers are scrambling to find baby formula amid bare shelves in retailers and limits on purchases.
The out-of-stock rate for formula is at 40% nationally, a big jump from just last month and way above the normal single-digit rate.
Republicans blame President Biden for the formula shortage, calling it a disturbing symptom of economic mismanagement along with raging inflation.
Democrats say the problem has little to do with supply chain issues and other wider economic woes. They blame the formula makers for the bacteria issue and other problems.
Gov. Hochul said the state will do what it can to ease the crisis, which impacts about three-quarters of parents of young children who use baby formula to feed their kids.
“New York State will continue to do everything possible to support New York families in need of formula for their infants,” Hochul said. ”My administration is committed to ensuring every newborn and child has access to the nutritional support they need to stay healthy.”
White House officials say the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture are doing all they can to bring supplies back to normal as quickly as possible.