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US: The nationwide baby formula shortage is getting worse

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  • US: The nationwide baby formula shortage is getting worse


    The nationwide baby formula shortage is getting worse
    By Megan Cerullo
    Updated on: May 6, 2022 / 7:23 AM / MoneyWatch

    Baby formula is getting even harder to come by at retailers across the U.S., amid a nationwide shortage of one of the most important products for new parents.

    At retailers across the U.S., 40% of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock as of the week ending April 24, a new analysis from Datasembly, which tracked baby formula stock at more than 11,000 stores, shows. National out-of-stock levels jumped nine percentage points, from 31% to 40% between April 3 and April 24. That's up sharply from 11% in November.

    "This is a shocking number that you don't see for other categories," Ben Reich, CEO of Datasembly told CBS MoneyWatch...

  • #2
    bump this


    • #3
      FDA Takes Important Steps to Improve Supply of Infant and Specialty Formula Products

      For Immediate Release: May 10, 2022

      Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing an update on its work to increase the availability of infant and specialty formula products. On Feb. 17, the agency warned consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula products from Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility, and Abbott initiated a voluntary recall of certain products. Since that time, the agency has been working with Abbott and other manufacturers to bring safe products to the U.S. market.

      “We recognize that many consumers have been unable to access infant formula and critical medical foods they are accustomed to using and are frustrated by their inability to do so. We are doing everything in our power to ensure there is adequate product available where and when they need it,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Ensuring the availability of safe, sole-source nutrition products like infant formula is of the utmost importance to the FDA. Our teams have been working tirelessly to address and alleviate supply issues and will continue doing everything within our authority to ensure the production of safe infant formula products.”

      Prior to the voluntary recall of several infant formula products produced at the Abbott Nutrition facility, the FDA was working to address supply chain issues associated with the pandemic including those impacting the infant formula industry. The FDA continues to take several significant actions to help increase the current supply of infant formula in the U.S. In fact, other infant formula manufacturers are meeting or exceeding capacity levels to meet current demand. Notably, more infant formula was purchased in the month of April than in the month prior to the recall.

      Leveraging all of the tools at its disposal to support the supply of infant formula products, the FDA is:
      • Meeting regularly with major infant formula manufacturers to better understand their capacity to increase production of various types of infant formulas and medical foods. The infant formula industry is already working to maximize their production to meet new demands. Efforts already underway by several infant formula manufacturers include optimizing processes and production schedules to increase product output, as well as prioritizing product lines that are of greatest need, particularly the specialty formulas.
      • Helping manufacturers bring safe product to the market by expediting review of notifications of manufacturing changes that will help increase supply, particularly in the case of the specialized formulas for medical needs.
      • Monitoring the status of the infant formula supply by using the agency’s 21 Forward food supply chain continuity system, combined with external data. 21 Forward was developed during the pandemic to provide a comprehensive, data-backed understanding of how COVID-19 is currently impacting food supply chains.
      • Compiling data on trends for in-stock rates at both national and regional levels to help understand whether the right amount of infant formula is available in the right locations, and if not, where it should go.
      • Expediting the necessary certificates to allow for flexibility in the movement of already permitted products from abroad into the U.S
      • Offering a streamlined import entry review process for certain products coming from foreign facilities with favorable inspection records.
      • Exercising enforcement discretion on minor labeling issues for both domestic and imported products to help increase volume of product available as quickly as possible.
      • Reaching out to retailer stakeholder groups to request that their members consider placing purchase limits on some products in order to protect infant formula inventories for all consumers.
      • Not objecting to Abbott Nutrition releasing product to individuals needing urgent, life-sustaining supplies of certain specialty and metabolic formulas on a case-by-case basis that have been on hold at its Sturgis facility. In these circumstances, the benefit of allowing caregivers, in consultation with their healthcare providers, to access these products may outweigh the potential risk of bacterial infection. The FDA is working to ensure health care provider associations and stakeholders understand information about the risks and benefits of pursuing this product.

      It’s important to understand that only facilities experienced in and already making essentially complete nutrition products are in the position to produce infant formula product that would not pose significant health risks to consumers. The FDA established an Incident Management Group to continue coordinating longer-term activities, which is focused on working with other major infant formula manufacturers to increase supply and helping to ensure that production of infant formula products can safely resume at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis facility, among other activities.

      The agency continues to advise against making infant formulas at home and encourages caregivers to work with their child’s health care provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices, if needed.

      The FDA will continue to dedicate all available resources to help ensure that infant formula products remain available for use in the U.S. and will keep the public informed of progress updates.

      Related Information
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela


      • #4
        Louisiana -

        LDH issues tips to families dealing with nationwide baby formula shortage

        May 10, 2022

        In response to a nationwide shortage of baby formula, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is issuing tips to families for dealing with the shortage and obtaining appropriate substitutions for the baby.

        Families are reporting difficulty finding infant formula in stores throughout the state. Formula manufacturers have said this is due to supply chain issues and a recall of Similac Advance, Spit-Up, Total Comfort, Sensitive, PM 60/40, Alimentum and Elecare products after four babies developed bacterial infections after consuming formula. The infections did not occur in Louisiana. The shortage is affecting all of families across the country, including Louisiana.

        Jennifer Nicklas, the Director of LDH’s Bureau of Nutrition Services, said that families who have been unsuccessful in finding a preferred brand of infant formula should turn to other brands, including store-branded formula, to ensure babies are getting the nutrition they need. Families also need to exercise caution in choosing substitutes for their babies.

        “We understand the frustration families are feeling if they’re not able to find a brand their baby has become accustomed to, but it is very important that we focus during this shortage on keeping babies well-fed with appropriate substitutes,” Nicklas said. “Families should not substitute cow’s milk, goat’s milk or plant-based milk for infant formula, or water their formula down. Families with questions about other substitutes should contact their pediatrician.”

        LDH is suggesting the following tips for families who are dealing with the infant formula shortage.
        • For most babies, it is OK to switch between standard formula brands including generic store brand. For specialized formulas, talk with your pediatrician.
        • Don’t hoard: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends buying no more than a 10-day to two-week supply for formula.
        • Food pantries, charitable organizations, and local formula representatives may also be able to help. WIC clinics can help connect families to local food banks.
        • Check smaller stores and drug stores and not just the big stores.
        • Use store websites to search for formula products before you go to the store, and use the pickup option if it is available. If you can, buy formula online from well-recognized retailers or pharmacies. Louisiana SNAP is accepted at the following retailers: Amazon, Walmart, Sam’s Club Scan and Go, Sprouts Farmers Market. For infants/children on WIC, visit the Louisiana WIC website for available substitutions. If you are using your WIC EBT card to purchase formula, you can find WIC-approved grocery stores here.
        • Never water down formula to stretch it out – this can lead to babies not getting the nutrition they need.
        • Never make homemade baby formula. This is not safe and the formula does not meet a baby’s nutritional needs.
        • Do not give your baby cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or plant-based milk. These can be low in protein and minerals and babies’ digestive systems will not be able to tolerate them.
        • When switching to appropriate formula substitutes, give your baby time to adjust to a new formula. It is normal for babies to be fussy or gassy at first.
        • Check formula cans for expiration dates and dents or punctures. Do not purchase the formula if it is expired or if the can is damaged.

        If you have concerns or questions, contact your pediatrician. For more information on the WIC program, go to or call 1-800-251-BABY (2229).

        The Louisiana Department of Health protects and promotes health and ensures access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all citizens of the State of Louisiana.
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela


        • #5
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          • #6
            Babies hospitalized in South Carolina because of formula shortage

            The formula shortage is now sending children to the hospital across the country, including here in South Carolina.

            Author: Eleanor Tabone (WLTX)
            Published: 12:45 AM EDT May 20, 2022
            Updated: 1:05 AM EDT May 20, 2022

            COLUMBIA, S.C. —
            The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) confirmed Thursday that four babies have been hospitalized due to issues related to the shortage. In one case, a parent made homemade formula, and the others had intolerances or allergic reactions to a different formula, according to the hospital.
            Formula is the only food a baby can eat if they aren’t being breast fed. Dietician, Carmen Thompson and Assistant Professor at SC State says it’s crucial babies get it before they start eating solids at six months.
            “I do not recommend to make your own formula," Thompson said, adding that diluting formula deprives your child of vital nutrients. "The micronutrients and the macronutrients are made to fit this distribution. If you’re going to add more water then the manufacture suggests, then your infant is not going those nutrients that the baby needs.”
            The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs warns that third-party sellers are creating fake websites, claiming to have formula in stock. The agency is urging parents to be suspicious of listings on places like Facebook marketplace, eBay and even Amazon.

            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela


            • #7
              bump this


              • #8
                Another baby formula shipment from Europe to arrive in the U.S. on Wednesday

                PUBLISHED SUN, MAY 22 2022 4:45 PM EDT
                UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO

                Jessica Bursztynsky

                FedEx Express has secured a government contract to bring another shipment of infant formula to the U.S. on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

                The Express plane will fly Nestlé baby formula from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. From there, the formula will be transported to a Nestlé facility in Pennsylvania. It’s unclear how much formula the plane will carry.

                The move is meant to address a critical shortage of baby formula in the United States after top formula maker Abbott Laboratories closed a manufacturing plant following reports of bacterial infections in four infants.

                Abbott said it would take about two weeks to reopen the plant and up to eight weeks for products to hit the shelves nationwide. That’s left a wide gap for scores of parents across the nation.

                In an effort to ease the burden, the Food and Drug Administration is increasing baby formula imports from other countries. Dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” the first shipment, carrying 78,000 pounds of specialty infant formula, arrived Sunday.


                • #9
                  Wisconsin babies are being hospitalized after eating homemade baby formula during shortage

                  May 20 2022
                  DEVI SHASTRI

                  Children's Wisconsin has seen an increase in the number of babies being admitted due to inappropriate substitutions for baby formula, the hospital said Friday.

                  The hospital frequently sees babies that are malnourished or show a failure to thrive, for reasons including a lack of access to formula, Heather Van Roo, a hospital spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel.

                  "But we are seeing more kids where inappropriate substitutions of formula is a factor in their hospitalization," she said.

                  The hospital declined to provide exact numbers for how many babies had been hospitalized due to inappropriate formula substitutions Friday. ...


                  • #10
                    NYC Mayor Eric Adams Declares State Of Emergency Over Baby Formula Shortage

                    May. 22, 2022, 04:40 PM EDT

                    By Andre Ellington

                    New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared a state of emergency in the tri-state area over the baby formula shortage that’s ravaging the U.S.

                    Adams signed an emergency executive order on Sunday that will allow the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to prevent businesses from price-gouging on baby formula.


                    • #11
                      Some children hospitalized in Georgia due to baby formula shortage

                      A few Georgia children with complex medical issues were recently hospitalized at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta because their families could not find the specific baby formula needed during a crippling nationwide shortage.

                      Tennessee - 2 Children Have Been Hospitalized Because of Formula Shortage


                      • #12
                        As if this isn't embarrassing enough.

                        Belarus leader offers to ‘help Americans’ with baby formula

                        Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko on Friday offered to share baby formula with the United States, highlighting shortages in a country that has put him under sanctions.

                        A product recall and shutdown of a major plant in February triggered a dramatic and ongoing reduction in availability of formula for parents across the US.

                        “We are ready to help the Americans with supplies of baby formula, as early as tomorrow,” state news agency Belta quoted Lukashenko as saying.

                        Lukashenko is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and has sided with Moscow after Russian troops were sent into Ukraine.

                        Both have been known to try to counter criticism of their rule by pointing to problems in Western countries...

                        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

                        i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

                        "...there’s an obvious contest that’s happening between different sectors of the colonial ruling class in this country. And they would, if they could, lump us into their beef, their struggle." ---- Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party

                        (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                        Never forget Excalibur.


                        • #13
                          bump this


                          • #14

                            A whistleblower report about the unsanitary manufacturing conditions at Abbott Labs’ Sturgis facility was given to the company and the FDA one year before any action was taken to recall products from stores and shut down the facility.

                            Baby formula whistleblower’s complaints were known 8 months earlier than acknowledged by Abbott Labs and the FDA
                            Kevin Reed
                            5 hours ago

                            The pediatric nutritionals giant Abbott Labs and the US government agency responsible for regulating the company were both informed of an employee complaint about dilapidated and unsafe manufacturing conditions at the firm’s Sturgis, Michigan, baby formula factory eight months earlier than they have previously acknowledged...

                            Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

                            i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

                            "...there’s an obvious contest that’s happening between different sectors of the colonial ruling class in this country. And they would, if they could, lump us into their beef, their struggle." ---- Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party

                            (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                            Never forget Excalibur.


                            • #15

                              Baby formula still hard to find despite overseas shipments
                              By Joe Hiti, Audacy
                              WWJ Newsradio 950
                              a day ago

                              New research has found that despite the best efforts from the Biden administration to make baby formula more available for parents, it has been less available in recent weeks than it was in May.

                              The data comes from IRI, a market research company, and it found that 28.3% of powdered baby formula products were out of stock in the U.S. this past week, almost 5% more than throughout the month of May.

                              According to some doctors, the shortage isn’t getting worse, but it is also not getting any better as parents continue to struggle and hospitals run out of samples.

                              The Biden administration launched its Operation Fly Formula in May to speed up imports from overseas formula producers in an effort to replenish inventories domestically.

                              Still, many don’t believe the issue will be resolved until Abbott Nutrition can start pushing products to shelves. The company’s Sturgis, Michigan factory was shut down over contamination concerns at the beginning of the year. Many have named the shutdown one of the key contributors to the shortages...