20 May 2022 - Baby Formula Shortage in the US
What You Need to Know About the US Baby Formula Shortage
Kelsey Butler, Cedric Sam and Mathieu Benhamou (Bloomberg, 17/05/2022)
Right now, one of the hardest items to find on grocery shelves is one of the most important: baby formula. A shortage has sent families scrambling across the US, with the most vulnerable being hit hardest by lack of supply.
Senate passes bill to improve access to baby formula for families in need
Ali Zaslav and Clare Foran (CNN, 19/05/2022)
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill by unanimous consent intended to improve access to baby formula as the US contends with a nationwide shortage that has sparked an outcry and put pressure on lawmakers to act.
The bill, called the Access to Baby Formula Act, was approved by the House on Wednesday and will now go to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
The measure is aimed at ensuring that families in need can continue to buy baby formula with WIC benefits during a public health emergency or supply chain issues such as a product recall. WIC refers to the federal assistance program known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
The current baby formula shortage sheds light on longstanding weaknesses within the industry
Kevin Ketels (The Conversation, 19/05/2022)
The conditions that led to a shortage of baby formula were set in motion long before the February 2022 closure of the Similac factory tipped the U.S. into a crisis.
Retailers nationwide reported supplies of baby formula were out of stock at a rate of 43% during the week ended May 8, 2022, compared with less than 5% in the first half of 2021. In some states, such as Texas and Tennessee, shortages were over 50%, which has prompted parents to travel long distances and pay exorbitant sums of money to grab dwindling supplies of formula for their babies.
Why the baby formula shortage is hitting these moms hardest
The baby formula shortage is worrying families around the country, especially parents of color. Black and Latino parents are more likely to use baby formula compared to White parents, according to the CDC.