The Shortage of Baby Formula Had Very Little to Do with Inflation">The Shortage of Baby Formula Had Very Little to Do with Inflation

June 2, 2022 3:52 pm Published by

The Shortage of Baby Formula Had Very Little to Do with Inflation

American parents are reeling due to the baby food shortage currently facing the country. Many Americans may point to the high rates of inflation that have crippled the economy; however, the real culprit may be none other than the baby formula company, Abbott. Abbott currently holds a 40 percent market share of the powdered infant formula in the United States.[1]

Why is this important? On October 19, 2021 a previous Abbott employee sent a 34-page report that detailed his/her personal view of possible malpractice and intentionally using misleading health documents. Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella traces were found in Abbott’s baby formula products.[2] Unfortunately four infants had to be hospitalized and two died due to the presence of the Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria in Abbott’s baby formula.[3] These deaths may have been avoided. Due to an investigation by the FDA, it was discovered that more baby formula could have contained traces of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella and a total recall was issued on February 17, 2022.[4] In accordance with this recall EleCare, Similac, and Alimentum products were seized from shelves across the country.

This major recall as well as the ongoing FDA investigation made a large portion of baby formula absent in American markets, prompting the shortage we are currently facing. Abbott’s official webpage has released the following statement addressing the baby formula shortage, “We know that the recall has worsened the industry-wide infant formula shortage, and we have been working to get as much product into the hands of parents as we can. Since February: We’ve air shipped millions of cans of infant formula powder into the U.S. from our FDA-registered facility in Cootehill, Ireland. We have prioritized infant formula production at our Columbus, Ohio facility, converting other liquid manufacturing lines into manufacturing Similac liquid ready-to-feed.”[5] President Biden has taken steps to improve the overall availability of baby formula products for parents who need access to it now more than ever. Operation Fly Formula for instance has brought 39 tons of baby formula to the United States by way of military aircrafts.[6]

This is all thanks to President Biden employing the Defense Production Act. This set precedent and allowed for Operation Fly Formula to be enacted by the POTUS. A portion of the official White House Statement reads as follows, “Invoking the Defense Production Act. To ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home, President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA). The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good.”[7] The current shortage is nowhere near optimal, but the country seems to be taking steps in the right direction.


[1] Beach,“Infant formula producer says it will reopen manufacturing facility if court OK’s consent decree.”,www.Foodsafetynews.com,May 16, 2022,(p.2)

[2] Evich,“Whistleblower warned FDA about formula plant months before baby deaths.”,www.Politico.com,April 28,2022,(p.1)

[3]FDA,“FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Certain Powdered Infant Formula Produced in Abbott Nutrition’s Facility in Sturgis, Michigan.”,www.FDA.gov,February 17, 2022,(p.1)

[4]Perrone,“EXPLAINER: What We Know About Shuttered Baby Formula Plant”,www.USNews.com,May,17,2022,(p.2)

[5]Abbott Statement Team, “Abbott Provides Infant Formula Update.”, www.Abbott.com May 13,2022,(p.1)

[6]2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved,The Associated Press contributed to this report. “Military plane carrying 39 tons of baby formula arrives in U.S.”,www.cbsnews.com, May 22,2022,(p.1)

[7]Briefing Room,White House Statement,“FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage.”, www.WhiteHouse.gov, May 18,2022 (p.1)

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This post was written by Marsha

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