FDA Shuts Down Production of Three Major Baby Formula Brands: Causing Shortages
by Yehudit Garmaise
Mothers who feed their babies with formula have been having a hard time finding it in stores for months, as manufacturers say they are struggling to produce enough formula to meet current the demand.
In late April, baby formulas’ out-of-stock rate increased to 40%, said Datasembly, whose CEO Ben Reich told abc7ny said that baby formulas’ manufacturers’ supply chains have not yet recovered from the pandemic.
Kosher brands, such as Kendamil, are hard to come by, reported one Boro Park mother, who often sees mothers begging others for extra formula on local WhatsApp chats.
In addition, in February, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled three brands of powdered baby formulas that were found to cause babies to suffer from potential bacterial infections, such as salmonella.
Responding to safety concerns that are alleged to have caused two babies to die, the FDA also shut down an Abbott Nutrition facility, which is a major producer of baby formula, in Sturgis, Michigan.
The FDA also advised parents not to buy or use any of Abbott’s brands of powdered infant formula, such as Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare, that were produced in the Sturgis plant.
In response to the shortages, CVS and Walgreens are limiting each customer to three toddler and infant formulas, per transaction.
While Target has not limited customers’ purchases of baby formula in person, the store has limited online customers to four items of baby formula, per purchase.
An Abbott spokesperson said the company is “making progress on corrective actions” and is “working to increase the supply of infant formula.”
Given the “unprecedented volatility” of baby formula’s production and “historic inflation,” Reich was not optimistic, when he said, “We anticipate baby formula to continue to be one of the most affected products in the market."