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Biden Combats Formula Shortage With the Defense Production Act

This latest step will boost supply and speed up shipments of formula.
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profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
Assistant Editor
Published
May 19, 2022
baby formula on empty shelf in grocery store
Image: SOPA Images/Getty Images

President Biden took a big step on Wednesday to get baby formula back on shelves by invoking the Defense Production Act to boost formula production and speed shipments. A federal law created during the Korean War, the Defense Production Act allows the president to expedite and expand the supply of materials by requiring companies to take actions in the interest of national defense.

In a video posted to his Twitter on May 18, Biden addressed the shortage and how the use of the Defense Production Act would help families. “I know parents all across the country are worried about finding enough formula to feed their babies. As a parent and a grandparent, I know just how stressful that is,” Biden said.

The White House’s latest plan is two-pronged.

The Defense Production Act will increase the production of formula by giving the government the ability to require suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers first, before providing those resources to any other customer. This means that more factories will have access to the materials they need to get production rolling here in the US.

The second part of the plan involves increasing the speed and frequency at which the US can import baby formula from other countries and get it on shelves. For this part of the plan, Biden has created “Operation Fly Formula,” which has tasked the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services with sending their planes overseas to pick up formula.

Biden closed his video with the statement, “I’ve directed my team to do everything possible to ensure there is enough baby formula and that it’s quickly reaching families that need it the most.”

In the meantime, if you need access to formula, check out these 15 resources to help you in your search. And if you’re hoping to give back during the crisis, you can find ways to help out here.

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