Not Just South Dakota: Baby Formula Shortage a ‘National Crisis’
UPDATE: (May 16, 2022) As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s coordinated drive to end the infant formula shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging states to take advantage of flexibilities the department is offering in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, commonly known as WIC, to help families get the safe formula they need.
“We’re acutely aware that the ongoing recall has left many parents and caregivers concerned about access to formula and how they will feed their babies. Our team is committed to the health and safety of all Americans and is calling on states to act immediately to offer maximum flexibility, information, and support to WIC participants. Meanwhile, USDA will continue the work we started in February, working not only within our department, but across the federal government, suppliers and partners to end this infant formula crisis as quickly as possible.” ~ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
The baby formula shortage is worse than most people think and had been called a "national crisis" by the experts. According to a report by The Atlantic, 40% of all baby formula nationwide is out of stock.
The reason for the extreme shortage is an FDA baby formula recall after a rare bacteria was found sickening two infants. Then there was the pandemic with supply chains getting mega-snarled.
Even in Sioux Falls, you will see parents stockpiling formula in case the crisis worsens.
Baby Formula Shortage Crisis Worsens in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa
“The unprecedented scope of this infant formula recall has serious consequences for babies and new parents.” ~ Brian Dittmeier, senior director of public policy at the National WIC Association, according to the Washington Post
I spoke with a pediatrician on Wednesday and she said that most parents are hesitant to switch any available formula from what their baby has been used to. That's understandable. Switching baby formula can make your baby more "spitty" and gassy. It's recommended at this point to go ahead and switch if your regular formula is not available.
But a scan of most baby food aisles will show bare shelves.
When the shortage will come to an end is anybody's guess. Much like microchips, orders are coming in but the demand is too high. The good news is Abbott, who makes Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare labels said that beefing up production and seeing it shipped is their top priority.
If you know of outlets where baby formula is available, feel free to comment on the social media page where you read this.
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