Today, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded answers from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf on steps they are taking to address the ongoing baby formula shortage that has impacted families across the country. The letter comes as reports indicate at least 40 percent of baby formula supplies in the U.S. are completely depleted. In six states including Iowa, more than half of all baby formula was completely sold out during the week of April 24th.
“I am writing with concern about the current shortage of infant formula in Iowa, and nationwide. Access to a steadfast, nutritional food supply is critical for all Americans, especially children. As supply chain shortages continue to impact families, I ask that the FDA prioritize our nation’s critical need for infant formula and do what the agency can to ease the shortages,” Grassley said.
Grassley notes that children and adults fed through feeding tubes also rely on these specialized formulas – and these formulas cannot be substituted. Low- and middle-income families, who are already stretched thin due to 40-year high inflation, have been forced to make homemade formula or add water to bottles to stretch their limited supply. It has left some parents deeply concerned about the health and wellbeing – and even the survival – of their infants.
“I recognize the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and decreased workforce capacity has had on our supply chains. However, it is imperative that Americans have access to food that infants and others need to survive. It is the utmost importance to our families across the country that a reliable supply of formula is reestablished immediately,” Grassley concluded.
Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a longtime advocate of government oversight and accountability, is asking the Biden administration’s FDA to provide Congress with a prompt update by answering the following questions:
- What are the plans to mitigate the effects of the recent recall of formula on the supply of formula across all brands?
- What actions is the FDA taking to alleviate shortages, and when does the FDA estimate that Americans will once again have reliable access to formula?
- Does FDA have any plans to modify oversight or investigation procedures to ensure that in the future, families have consistent access to safe formula?
Read the full letter HERE.