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Biden administration announces actions to address infant formula shortage

Posted at 9:11 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 22:13:55-04

There might be some hope for parents going store to store to find baby formula.

Abbott Nutrition says the plant they had to close earlier this year could be back up and running in the next few weeks.

This comes as the White House announced additional steps to combat the supply shortage.

For months ABC15 has heard from parents going to numerous stores just trying to find the formula they need.

Supply shortages are not limited to baby formula, but in February Abbott Nutrition announced a recall in consultation with the FDA on some of the powdered formulas it produces.

The company’s Michigan plant shut down over concerns of bacterial contamination.

“We are working to increase formula supply by importing from abroad which really compliments the work we have done to boost domestic production,” said Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council for Health and Veterans, Christen Linke Young.

Today the White House announced additional steps to help with the shortage.

That includes cutting red tape to get supply on shelves quicker, cracking down on price gouging, and increasing imports of formula.

“The FDA will announce in the coming days a process that will allow more infant formula to be imported from abroad using various flexibilities,” said Young.

Abbott Nutrition also announced that their Michigan plant could reopen within the next few weeks, if the FDA gives the ok. But it could be up to 10 weeks to get supply back up in stores.

Nationally, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America says there's been a 20% increase in demand for breast milk that can be purchased.

The Milk Spot is one of the only collection sites in the Valley, their team of doctors and lactation consultants gathers donated breast milk.

“We support mainly moms who’ve had babies and want lactation support,” said Dr. Nichelle Whitehead with the Milk Spot. “But as the significant milk donation site for Phoenix, we collect a great deal of milk.”

They do sell breast milk, but parents need a prescription and it runs about $30 for just four oz.

“It’s pretty expensive, and so for anyone who can lactate we can help them either re-lactate or increase their supply,” said Dr. Whitehead.

The Milk Spot said they are there to support moms and help them look at all their options.