On Monday, Republican Senator Mike Lee (UT) announced he was finalizing a bill that will help combat the country’s baby formula shortage.
The Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans (FORMULA) Act will aim at alleviating challenges in the baby formula supply chain.
“The already concerning shortage of baby formula has been exacerbated by the recent closure of Abbott’s baby formula facility in Michigan,” Lee’s office wrote in a description of the bill. “Numerous trade and regulatory barriers have led to the culmination of this crisis. Temporarily waiving these trade and regulatory barriers, while providing flexibilities to families in the WIC program, will enable families to access the infant formula they direly need.”
“In the United States, the market for infant formula is highly concentrated amongst three companies that control more than 90% of the produced formula,” it continued. “There is a need for more suppliers of formula in the United States. Reports have surfaced that the out-of-stock rate for baby formula has risen from 11% in November 2021 to 43% in the first week of May this year. As a result, retailers such as Walgreens and CVS have begun limiting formula purchases for families. Tragically, families have been forced to search long distances for formula to feed their babies, and children with metabolic diseases, who consume specialized formulas, are also finding it extremely difficult to find the formula they need, putting the health and safety of millions of American children at risk.”
In a statement, Lee said of the bill, “American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way. Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage. Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry.”
American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage. Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry. pic.twitter.com/qn6rJ9jlIB
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) May 16, 2022