Baby Formula Shortage Is Hitting the US for Months

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Baby Formula
Courtesy of Mike Mozart (Flickr CC0)

Baby formula shortage has been hitting the US for months. Manufacturers have been producing at full capacity, but it is not enough to meet the current demand.

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton labeled the shortage awful as a national crisis.

Prices of baby formula also spiked. Parents are currently struggling to keep pace with a nationwide insufficiency.

The shortage hovered between 2% to 8% in 2021 and early 2022. More than 40% of baby formulas were sold out in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. As of early April, about 26 states are struggling with supply.

Walgreens and CVS confirmed they limit customers to one infant and three toddler formulas per transaction but said they would continue to work with suppliers to meet the demands. ZBen Reich, CEO of Datasembly, said product recalls and supply chain issues were compounded.

Baby Formula
Courtesy of DennisM2 (Flickr CC0)

Unfortunately, given the unprecedented amount of volatility in the category, we anticipate baby formula to continue to be one of the most affected products in the market.

Walmart is also imposing similar constraints on its baby formula sale. 

The baby formula shortage was exacerbated by the shutdown of an Abbott Nutrition Sturgis, Michigan facility.

FDA recalled three brands of powdered baby formulas in February because of possible salmonella infection. The agency advised parents not to buy Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare powdered infant formulas.

A former employee of Abbott Nutrition filed a whistleblower document that the Sturgis, Michigan plant was hiding safety problems. It recalled the infant formula after four babies fell ill and two died from Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria infection.

The Abbott spokesperson noted that the recall only impacted baby formula batches produced and distributed from its Sturgis, Michigan facility. No other Abbott products were tested positive for Salmonella or other pathogens.

Abbott told CNN that it is working closely with the FDA to restart its Michigan plant processes and enforce additional actions to address related recalls.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Sheena Robertson

ABC7 NY: Baby formula shortage hitting US is getting worse following recall on numerous brands; by Parija Kavilanz and Ramishah Maruf
CBS News: The nationwide baby formula shortage is getting worse; by MEGAN CERULLO
The New York Times: ‘Please Help’: A Nationwide Baby Formula Shortage Worsens; by Eduardo Medina

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Tarah Tamayo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of DennisM2’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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