UTAH

Sen. Romney calls for swift action on baby formula shortage

May 11, 2022, 11:17 AM
Romney infant baby formula...
FILE: Baby formula has been is short supply in many stores around the country for several months. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney has asked federal agencies to assure everything is being done to lessen the current shortage of infant formula. 

In a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Sen. Romney said the issue has turned into a crisis.

“I write to ensure the federal government is taking every available step to get to the bottom of an increasingly urgent, nationwide shortage of infant formula, including the possible connection to several infant deaths,” the Senator wrote.

“It is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to protect infant health,” the Senator wrote, “by ensuring that they have access to safe formula, and when crises arise, to initiate contingency plans to mitigate shortages that risk the lives of infants across the nation.”

Why is there a shortage of baby formula?

Baby formula has been in short supply since four infants were hospitalized with a rare bacterial infection called Cronobacter sakazakii. Two of the babies died.

The bacteria was found in the Similac formula produced in a specific Abbott Nutrition factory in Michigan. The FDA responded by practically shutting down the Abbott plant.

This caused a chain reaction that led to a shortage of baby formula, with large retailers like CVS and Walgreens imposing limits on how much baby formula customers could buy at any one time.

“Hurry up!”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week that the FDA is “working around the clock” to help manufacturers get more formula on the shelves, but Senator Romney says the pace is too slow.

“Between the risk of ingesting contaminated formula, and the risk of malnutrition from an inability to receive said formula, the FDA is in an exceedingly difficult position protecting infant health,” said the senator.

“I appreciate the FDA’s efforts to support case-by-case release of essential product, but the pace of release is far slower than demand felt across our nation.”

Sen. Romney said further that the agency’s attempts to balance safe products with safe infant development is accomplishing neither objective.

 

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Sen. Romney calls for swift action on baby formula shortage