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Help for Parents Facing Formula Shortage Is on the Way, Biden Says

The government just announced a three-pronged plan, but it may still be months before the shortage is resolved.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published May 13, 2022
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Image: interstid/Shutterstock

President Biden has announced new initiatives to curb the nationwide formula shortage.

Despite increased production over the past four weeks—at a level the White House claims surpasses the amount of formula produced before the Abbott Nutrition recalls—data collection company Datasembly reports that 43 percent of formulas are out of stock at stores around the country.

Image: Courtesy Datasembly

In response to this crisis, the government has come up with three additional initiatives to bolster efforts to get formula to parents in need.

1. Cutting Bureaucratic Red Tape to Expand Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Benefits
The United States Department of Agriculture is calling on states to allow parents to use WIC for a wider variety of products when certain sizes or types of formula are out of stock. This will not only help parents purchase more products, but it’ll also speed up manufacturing, since companies that were mandated to make various formula sizes can now focus on one size, accelerating production.

2. Cracking Down on Price Gouging
Several reports have shown that certain individuals are taking advantage of the shortage by buying up baby formula, specifically specialty formula, and selling it at astronomical prices. While purchasing limits have been put in place in many areas, the Department of Justice is now calling on state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission to use all of their tools to end price gouging.

3. Expediting Formula Imports
The US generally produces 98 percent of the formula Americans consume. Due to the shut down of one of the nation’s largest formula producers, Abbott Nutrition, the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to expand the import of formula from trade partners.

While the government doesn’t yet have a timeline as to when parents can expect formula to be restocked on shelves, according to the New York Times , the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) expects it to be months before the shortage resolves. In the meantime, here are expert-backed tips on what you can do to ensure your baby gets the nutrition they need.

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