American parents and caregivers are struggling to keep their children fed. Nearly 43 percent of the baby formula supply was out-of-stock in stores across the country as of last week due in part to the Biden Administration’s failure to react to shortages it should have predicted. The FDA should have worked more quickly to reopen domestic production and to facilitate safe imported alternatives to cover the temporary shortage.
The Biden Administration failed families through its incompetence and slow response to fix the nationwide baby formula shortage: HHS Secretary Becerra has known about this shortage since last year, yet the FDA only recently took steps to reopen a critical U.S. manufacturing facility.
An end to the baby formula shortage is finally in sight while we temporarily rely on imported formula: Abbott signed an agreement with FDA to restart the plant that is shutdown and has also begun importing formula from its FDA-approved facility in Ireland. Reports suggest that store shelves are likely to be restocked with Sturgis production in up to eight weeks.
- A substantial majority of formula consumed within the United States is produced domestically.
- In 2021, the United States imported approximately $80 million of infant formula, 99 percent of which came from Mexico, Ireland, the Netherlands, Chile, and Austria.
- Mexico provides the largest share of U.S. imports at 62 percent (about $50 million).
- Many European countries are substantial producers and exporters of infant formula. However, to be eligible to export to the United States, European formulas must meet the FDA’s labeling requirements. Once FDA-approved for import, these products are subject to tariffs.