Getting baby formula back on store shelves across the United States is a top priority for the White House.
The White House's soon-to-be press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that the Biden administration is doing everything it can to ease the formula crunch in the weeks ahead.
HERE'S WHAT'S CAUSING THE BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE
"Ensuring that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country is a top priority for the White House and for this administration," Jean-Pierre said. "We know that Abbott [Nutrition's] voluntary recall of infant formula products has led to some Americans being unable to access infant formula and other critical medical food supplies. This is an urgent issue that the [Food and Drug Administration] is working 24/7 to address."
Up to 40% of baby formula is out of stock at U.S. retailers, up from 29% in March, and there appears to be no quick solution to the problem. The shutdown of a Michigan production facility with a history of compliance problems contributed to the shortage.
Sales rebounded about 10% from March to April, Jean-Pierre added, and consumers should be able to find general powdered formulas in stores.
The FDA is working with industry players to maximize production and expedite reviews. Many retailers are also placing purchase limits on some products to avoid the possibility of hoarding.
"Anyone who needs certain specific and metabolic formulas should consult their healthcare providers for guidance and alternatives to their current formula," Jean-Pierre said, adding that she does not know who is in charge of leading the White House's response to the problem.
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The shortage is especially acute for parents of babies who require specialty formulas to address allergies and gastrointestinal or metabolic conditions.
The scarcity has forced many parents to spend hours looking for supplies in stores with mostly empty shelves and finding other parents on social media with extra formula to sell or donate.