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Baby formula stock several weeks away from returning to store shelves

FDA lays out steps to rectify shortage
Posted at 8:51 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 09:01:22-04

BALTIMORE — Baby formula has been in short supply for months after contamination concerns, but parents still will have to wait a little longer for supplies to return to normal on store shelves.

Abbott Nutrition, the company behind several popular formula brands like Similac and Good Start said customers will have to wait about six to eight more weeks for supplies to return to normal.

According to Datasembly, 43% of America's baby formula supply is currently out of stock.

Baby formula has been in short supply for about three months after two infant deaths and two illnesses led to a voluntary recall and a shutdown of Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan plant.

On Wednesday, Abbott Nutrition released the findings of its investigation into its formula and bacterial concerns.

The company claims there’s no evidence to link their formulas to the babies deaths.

This comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the steps it's taking to increase production and access to infant formula.

These steps include:

  • Meeting regularly with manufacturers to understand their capacity to increase production.
  • Monitoring the status of the infant formula supply chain.
  • Compiling data on in-stock rates at both the national and regional levels.
  • Expediting the necessary certificates to allow international products into the U.S

Also, the FDA is asking some retailers to limit their purchases to make sure there is enough formula to go around.

While parents wait for supplies to return to normal, some might resort to find other ways to feed their babies.

Pediatrician Dr. Ashanti Woods said “we want them to hold off on diluting their formula. So, we want to make sure that you don't put too much water into the formula to dilute it to stretch it. We also don't want families resorting to home milk or cow's milk too early.”

“Typically, we introduce cow's milk when a child is 12 months of age or older. So, we don't want families giving cow's milk to their infant during this formula shortage, formula crisis,” Woods said.

If parents cant find what they need to feed their babies at the store, healthcare workers say it's important for caregivers to consult with a doctor before changing their infant's diet.