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Sen. Mike Lee works on FORMULA Act to address baby formula crisis

May 16, 2022, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm
Sen Lee debates formula...
A Republican state delegate has been asked to resign after appearing in an ad against Sen. Mike Lee. Photo Credit: Kristin Murphy/Deseret News

WASHINGTON D.C.. — Utah Sen. Mike Lee is working on legislation to address the worsening baby formula crisis. The bill is called the FORMULA Act or the Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans Act.

The recent closing of the Abbott formula manufacturing facility in Michigan has been cited as one reason for the shortage. That facility closed down because of a bacterial contamination.

Sen. Lee said the closure of the Abbott lab exacerbated an already existing problem.

“Reports have surfaced that the out-of-stock rate for baby formula has risen from 11% in November 2021 to 43% in the first week of May this year.”

The senator believes too much regulation and not enough competition created this problem.

“In the United States, the market for infant formula is highly concentrated amongst three companies that control more than 90% of the produced formula. There is a need for more suppliers of formula in the United States.”

Sen. Lee laid out the goals of the FORMULA act as follows:

  • provide a 6-month waiver on infant formula tariffs,
  • implement a 6-month waiver of FDA regulations, and
  • offer 6-month access to alternative formulas under Women, Infant, and Children (WIC).

 “American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way,” Sen. Lee said of the bill.

“Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage,” the senator said.

“Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry.”

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Sen. Mike Lee works on FORMULA Act to address baby formula crisis