The baby formula shortage has been rising from weeks and has now caught the attention of Congress. Baby formula stocks have been falling from several weeks not just due to supply chain issues but also due to the closure of a huge factory that makes the formula in the U.S. The recall of formula plus supply chain issues has made baby formula scarce across the nation. Manufacturers say that production is on full capacity, however; the supply is less than the demand.
The House Oversight Committee has written letters to the heads of four baby formula companies requesting documents and details asking for the reasons for the shortage in baby formula. Four companies who make baby formula in the U.S.: Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestle U.S.A., Perrigo Company and Abbot Nutrition were sent letters by the committee. Abbott Nutrition is the largest manufacturer of baby formula in the nation.
President Biden spoke to major retailers and manufacturers about this issue, on Thursday. The White House also announced that it has taken steps to tackle the crisis with efforts to increase formula production and to stop those who were indulging in price gouging.
Although it is an issue that affects many infants and mothers in the nation, finger pointing has begun with the Republicans blaming the Biden Administration and the FDA, while the Democrats are blaming the factories. There was a huge recall of baby formula from Abbott Nutrition.
Two babies died, earlier this year of rare bacterial infections. Four babies may have fallen sick after consuming the formula. Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan was shut down and certain batches of Similac, Alimentum and Elecare were recalled by the FDA.
A spokesperson of the company said that the rare bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii that was found when the environment was tested during the investigation, was in the non contact areas in the factory. In a recent statement, Abbott Nutrition told news outlets that it was working with the FDA to restart operations at its Michigan facility.