Currents News Staff
THE FDA Commissioner says they’re working on the national baby formula shortage. That’s what Dr. Robert Califf said when he testified before Congress Thursday.
“The pandemic,” Dr. Robert said, “the war in Ukraine and labor supply issues have all had an impact and I can assure FDA has been working tirelessly to address this issue.”
He says they set up a mechanism to help companies that don’t normally sell infant formula in this country to do so. He mentioned President Joe Biden’s announcement to invoke the defense production act to help formula makers get ingredients more quickly and “Operation Fly Formula” to send planes overseas.
“… to pick up infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards,” President Biden said. “So we can get it on store shelves faster.”
Meanwhile, as desperate parents struggle to feed their babies, two bills are heading to the Senate after passing in the House late Wednesday night.
One plan to help low-income families use their WIC benefits for formula has strong bipartisan support. Those families purchase about half the formula in the U.S. and they’re limited to certain brands.
“If we can’t find it in the stores,” said one mother, Diana Torres, “then we lose our benefits.”
The second bill would pay for more FDA inspectors at formula plants. Only 12 Republican representatives voted for it, so its future in the Senate is uncertain. But criticism is growing about how long these actions took. The formula plant is at the heart of a nationwide recall shut down in February.