It’s a nightmare for parents. The United States is in the grip of a severe shortage of baby formulas – mass product recalls exacerbate supply chain problems in a pandemic – a time desperately sending families on a desperate search for vital supplies.
And it lasts for months, according to Sarah Khan, a mother of three children aged 10, seven and six months.
“I have known about this issue for almost seven months,” she told AFP. “It didn’t happen at the same time.”
Khan described the struggle to find just a few bottles of the formula, and the suffering of being faced with empty shelves at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies or Target supermarkets, whether in Washington or the surrounding area.
She has managed thanks to family and friends who, when found, send her bottles of formulas from Boston, New York and Baltimore.
“It’s awful, awful,” she said, adding that she even ordered a mixture from Germany.
The situation worsened sharply on February 17, when after the deaths of two babies, manufacturer Abbott announced a “voluntary recall” of a blend made at its Michigan plant, including Similac, a brand used by millions of American families.
Subsequent investigations have clarified the formula, but production has not yet resumed, exacerbating an already long-running shortage caused by supply chain problems and labor shortages.
According to the data collection agency Datasembly, 43 percent of the usual formula was missing, up 10 percent from the April average.
A resident of San Diego, California, Olivia Espinosa said: “There is nothing on the shelves.”
Espinosa and her husband Steve Homan have two small children. One of them, Maya, is only three weeks old and she is lactose intolerant.
“We should only go for herbal formula because we can’t try anything else,” Homan said.
Usually hospitals and pediatricians give parents samples of the mixture to find out which one is best for their child.
But few have anything to give.
Homan said it’s annoying that his daughter can’t try other formulas that could be more nutritious for her.
Espinosa said the shortage was “very frustrating, especially for a newborn who now needs … very specific food.”
She explained that it was difficult for her to breastfeed and produce enough milk.
According to Khan, it is difficult even for babies who do not have special food needs.
People have offered her to try other brands, but “it’s not,” Khan said. The formula should taste good and not cause individual children problems such as constipation.
And in addition to supply problems, parents have a hard time keeping up with costs as online retailers have doubled or even tripled their prices.
Robert Calif, head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlighted the issue in a statement issued Tuesday night.
“We recognize that many consumers have been unable to gain access baby formula and the critical medical products they are used to using, “he said.” We do everything in our power to provide an adequate product available there and when they need it. “
On Wednesday, Ebat said he was “deeply” sorry for the situation.
“Since the recall, we have been working to increase supplies at our other FDA-registered facilities, including delivering Similac from our site to Cuthill, Ireland, by air and producing more Similac and Alimentum fluids,” the group said in a statement. .
And the deficit is also politicized.
“I called for action on President Biden’s baby mix a few months ago,” Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanick said on Twitter.
Her far-right counterpart, Marjorie Taylor Green, has accused the US Congress of “sending almost $ 40 billion to Ukraine until American mothers can find a baby formula.”
But White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told CNN on Monday that the Biden administration was “working around the clock” to address the shortcoming.
© 2022 AFP
Citation: Shortage of infant formula makes parents in the US panic (2022, May 12), obtained May 12, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-baby-formula-shortage-parents-panic.html
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