Baby Formula Shortage: Are We on the Verge of a National Crisis?
Everything is going up in price, like gas, groceries, rent, hygiene products, and more. Now, families have to worry about the shortage of baby formula. According to The Atlantic, “Nationwide, 40 percent of formula is out of stock—a twentyfold increase since the first half of 2021.”
The Atlantic notes “three factors are driving the U.S. baby-formula shortage: bacteria, a virus, and a trade policy.”
I’m in shock. It is affecting families right here in West Alabama. This is heartbreaking because some mothers can’t produce breast milk and some babies can only have the formula.
I was a baby that was on formula because my mom couldn’t produce breast milk. This was back in the 70s and even then formula wasn’t cheap. Now add that there is a shortage. This is something we should be concerned about.
How Did This Happen?
CNBC said that the “shortage comes after Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s largest baby formula manufacturer, closed its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, amid a recall due to contamination concerns.” Retailers who have baby formula products are moving to limited purchases.
My heart aches for the families of the babies that consumed the products from the plant. Four infants were hospitalized with bacterial infections and “two of the infants died,” said The Atlantic.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. said that “ensuring the availability of safe, sole-source nutrition products like infant formula is of the utmost importance to the FDA. Also, the “FDA was working to address supply chain issues associated with the pandemic including those impacting the infant formula industry.”
Is Anyone Concerned?
IMO, I want to know where is the outrage over the lack of baby formula? I found more people on Facebook chatting about the chicken shortage several months ago than this current formula shortage. There is a real need.
Where to Find Baby Formula in Alabama?
That can be tricky.
Some of my friends have suggested trying the smaller stores. Another friend said she scored by going when the store first opens. [Does this remind you of the no toilet paper and disinfectant days?]
Another idea that a Dad mentioned to me is to enlist family and friends that don’t need the baby formula to be on the lookout for your products. Pass the information on or pick it up for them.
If you are out shopping and you notice formula is in stock, spread the word to a family that you know is on the search for formula.
The NY Times reported that “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would move to provide regulatory relief and funds to bolster the infant formula supply, as the president said his team was acting within “weeks or less.”
In a press release from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Katrina Skinner, MD, FAAP, AL-AAP president said that “donor milk is safe so long as standard guidelines are used. She recommends that parents use donor milk banks, where the milk is screened to make sure it is okay for consumption.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a website to help families find baby formulas. It's filled with great resources from manufacturers, community partners, and more.
(Source) Click here for more information from The Atlantic. Click here for more details from CNBC. Click here for more specifics from the NY Times. Click here for the Press Release from the ADPH. Click here for more notes from the FDA.