Nation’s baby formula shortage continues even with shipments from Europe
A shortage of baby formula started in the early days of the pandemic and has only worsened after a plant in Sturgis, Mich. was shut down earlier this year.
With low stock and high demand, the lack of available baby formula has created a crisis for parents reliant on the infant food source.
Supply chain experts point to several factors leading to the shortage — including the concentration of production. Only a handful of companies are approved makers of baby formula in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.
To alleviate the crisis, the Biden administration invoked the Defense Production Act to boost domestic production of formula. On Sunday, the first shipment of formula from other countries was delivered through Operation Fly Formula.
President Biden also increased formula access for low-income parents through signed legislation. The Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022 allows families to choose from a greater number of products through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as WIC.
What should families know about the shortage? Why does the industry operate under a consolidation of production? What else is the Biden administration doing to alleviate the crisis?
What resources are available to parents in need? Is homemade formula a potential substitute?
- Bonnie Petrie, bioscience and medicine reporter for TPR News
- Kevin Ketels, assistant professor of teaching in global supply chain management at Wayne State University
- Dr. Fred Campbell, internal medicine specialist in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, May 23.