Formula Crisis: Parents URGE Biden To Import Formula So Babies Don't Starve

By Charles Susswein | Wednesday, 18 May 2022 22:45
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Worried parents denounced President Joe Biden’s reaction to the nationwide infant formula disaster, despite his arguments that it should improve dramatically in the following weeks as the government works with manufacturers to allow companies to import more.

“We’re going to be, in a matter of weeks or less, getting significantly more formula on shelves,” Biden announced on Friday after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared it was working to streamline a process that will get more products to consumers - while meeting safety, quality and labeling standards.

Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf stated the agency would announce plans in the following week detailing how manufacturers and suppliers abroad will be able to more easily import their products into the U.S., as well as new options for American companies.

The $4 billion U.S. baby formula market is dominated by domestic producers, with import options limited, subject to high tariffs and onerous safety rules that include labeling standards.

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These longstanding rules have exacerbated the current disaster - and are central to officials’ attempts to ease the shortage.

“We believe these and other ongoing efforts will help dramatically improve the supply in the U.S. in a matter of weeks,” Califf wrote on Twitter. “Our data indicates that in-stock rates in retail stores are stabilizing but we continue to work around the clock to further increase availability.”

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In the meantime, the head of one of the four companies that control upwards of 90 percent of the U.S. market for baby formula warned that he expects shortages and heightened demand for formula to last for the “balance of the year.”

Amid the crisis, caregivers are denouncing the President’s remarks and claiming his Administration has failed to handle the problem on time.

“This is unacceptable,” said Chris Skates, whose three-month-old grandson requires a special formula due to stomach sensitivity. “FDA under Biden is beyond incompetent!”

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On Friday, Biden declared his Administration was working hard on the matter and had “nothing more urgent” on its plate.

“I’ll answer the baby formula question because all of a sudden it’s on the front page of every newspaper,” he announced. “This is a process we are working very, very hard. There’s nothing more urgent we’re working on that right now. And I think we’re really making some significant progress.”

The President lashed out at critics as he defended his Administration’s actions to relieve the shortage that has panicked parents worried about feeding their babies.

“If we'd been better mind readers, I guess we could have,” Biden announced when asked if his Administration should have acted sooner.

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