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FDA lists factors that caused the shortage of national baby formula and makes recommendations

Earlier in the year, there had been a baby formula shortage in the nation and President Joe Biden had taken corrective action to mitigate the crisis, at the earliest. However, the unprecedented shortage was investigated by FDA. An internal review by one of its directors has identified five major areas where changes have to be made to prevent a repeat in future.

On September 20, 2022 Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., who is also Director at the Center for Veterinary Medicine released an FDA statement that underlined the causes of the shortage of infant formula across the nation.

The FDA statement said that his report mentioned the following major areas of need such as
Modern information technology which would allow both access as well as exchange of information among all those who were involved in response, in real time. Sufficient staff and training as well as sufficient equipment and regulatory authorities so that the mission of the FDA would be fulfilled.Updated response to emergencies that could handle several public health emergencies that might occur at the same time.

Increased research on the Cronobacter to understand the organism so that control measures and oversight that would be appropriate could be taken, in future. To assess the infant control industry by investigating its preventive controls, food safety culture and the industry’s prepared response to such issues.

Director Solomon’s statement said that one of the key findings, common through all the interviews they conducted, was that several vulnerabilities came together to create the crisis. Modernization, investment in expertise as well as tools would help anticipate and address future challenges in public health, in a better way.

The report also highlighted the need for a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates:
Clinical nutrition
Expertise in inspection
Legal processes
Supply chain and policy considerations.

The report highlighted the need for resources and specific authorities so that the FDA could continue with its mission to improve and ensure “the safety of our food supply.”


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