Baby formula shortage reaches ‘crisis’ level in some places

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 8:44 AM EDT
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(CNN) - Across the U.S., parents are having trouble feeding their infants.

The problem is a shortage of baby formula available for sale. In some places, the shortage has become a crisis.

“It’s not just a problem. It’s a crisis, and it’s a crisis that’s only getting worse,” said Laura Modi, co-founder and CEO of organic baby formula company Bobbie.

A nationwide shortage of baby formula has some parents struggling to feed their infants.

“Our babies literally do not have the formula that they need to survive,” mother Carrie Fleming said.

In at least eight states - Texas, Tennessee, Montana, West Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, Kansas and Delaware - formula is more than half out of stock.

The issues are supply chain problems and a February recall and shutdown at an Abbott Nutrition plant in Michigan.

“When two formula companies own the majority of the market and one of them has a recall, we should not be questioning how do we continue to feed babies,” Modi said.

Abbott said it could take 10 weeks to get the supply back to normal.

First, it needs Food and Drug Administration approval to restart production.

“You need to go inspect tomorrow, today, and let’s get these plants up in operations,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois.

Members of both parties said they’re concerned.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blames the Biden administration, saying they were sluggish to respond to the problem.

Moms across the Valley are finding empty shelves when they go to buy baby formula.

If you’re trying to feed your baby, doctors say don’t make formula at home or stretch out your supply. Those tactics could lead to poor nutrition.

Experts say you might consider switching brands, trying to restart lactation or asking your pediatrician about using cow’s milk or toddler formula.

“In the long term, we need to make sure we’re finding solutions, so we’re not in this crisis again,” Modi said.

“How do we not have a back-up plan to make sure this never happens? Like, what are we going to do to help get our babies fed?” Fleming asked.

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