Explained: Baby formula shortage in US and what Biden administration is doing

Updated: May 20, 2022, 12:58 AM(IST)

In the United States, baby formula has been in limited supply, jeopardising the health of infants. Reportedly, this has been caused by the global supply chain crisis and a large scale production recall after two babies died due to bacterial infection following the intake of the infant formula.

As per the experts, this is the most severe shortage of baby formula in years.

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Cause of crisis

Abbott Laboratories, the maker of popular baby formula, closed its manufacturing site in Sturgis, Michigan after four infants suffered bacterial infections from the formula, of which two died.

This led to a federal investigation. The formula was later found to be cleared but the production has yet to resume. This increased existing scarcity due to supply chain issues and labour shortage as well, news agency AFP reported. 

Due to the scarcity, people have been suggesting trying other brands, but parents are specific about how it tastes.

A formula needs to have good taste and should not cause any problems such as constipation in children. 

(Photograph:Agencies)

An agreement between FDA and Abbott

In the midst of baby formula scarcity in US, officials earlier this week stated that manufacturers have been encouraged to contact foreign companies to import their products.

According to the manufacturing company Abbott, a consent decree deal has been done between Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the company specifying the measures needed to restore the production at the Michigan plant.

(Photograph:AFP)

Paediatricians warn against homemade infant formula

With the formula crisis in no mood to simmer down, desperate parents are being forced to make their own baby formula. They are taking the help of social media to prepare them.

However, speaking to AFP, paediatricians have warned parents against such practice saying that it may be deficient in vitamins and minerals necessary for the growth and development of a newborn.
 

(Photograph:Agencies)

Who all are affected?

Several states are facing severe shortages such as Texas and Tennessee where more than half of the top-selling products are out of stock, reported by CBS news. 

The shortage crisis is mainly affecting the poorer families.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

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