UPDATED 8:26 AM PT – Thursday, May 26, 2022
Lawmakers are expressing their frustrations with the ongoing baby formula shortage. The House Energy Oversight Subcommittee recently held a hearing to find a solution. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle asked questions about how the nation got to this point and why the Biden administration is struggling to fix it.
“Why did the Biden administration let the shortage become so dire before acting with any urgency?” asked Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.). “I anticipate that we will hear different excuses today and frankly I’m not interested in debating in stock rates or whether babies can switch from one brand to another depending on their health needs.”
Representatives from both major parties acknowledged this shortage was preventable, while asserting that the government should have been more prepared.
“There were growing strains on the domestic supply of formula in the months leading up to the reported infant illness and the subsequent recall of Abbott products, but the recall itself turned the US formula supply into a tailspin,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).
— Energy and Commerce Committee (@EnergyCommerce) May 25, 2022
During the hearing, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf outlined the administration’s plan to address shortages moving forward. He said the FDA is looking at potential reform, so a shortage of essential items does not happen again.
“My basic plan has been to get through this crisis and then we will be looking at the overall food program from the perspective of reforming it, but not waiting to deal with the specifics of this case,” Califf stated.
In the meantime, the FDA reported there’s still not enough safety measures being taken at the Michigan formula plant in order to reopen it. As of now, the administration has claimed it will be ready to open in a few weeks.