House Oversight Committee presses manufacturers on baby formula shortage

House Oversight Committee presses manufacturers on baby formula shortage

The House Oversight Committee is looking into the shortage of baby formula plaguing parents in the country and pressing key manufacturers for information on steps they are taking to address the issue.

Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York wrote letters to the heads of four baby formula companies. The Chairwoman of the Committee, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, chairman of the subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, requested documents and details about the shortage.

The national formula shortage poses a threat to the health and economic security of infants and families in communities across the country, particularly those with less income who have historically experienced health inequities, as well as food insecurity, according to letters sent to Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestl USA, Perrigo Company and Abbott Nutrition.

The lawmakers said these companies control 90 percent of the U.S. market for baby formula.

The FDA examined Abbott Nutrition's Michigan facility earlier this year after four infants who drank its formula contracted bacterial infections and were hospitalized. The agency said that the infections may have contributed to the deaths of two babies.

Abbott said that they had conducted a thorough review and concluded that there was no evidence that their baby formulas are linked to the illnesses of these infants.

Maloney and Krishnamoorthi asked Abbott for information on the steps it has taken to resolve sanitation and hygiene issues in its facility, as well as measures it is taking to increase the supply of baby formula. They asked the company to submit certain documents to the committee by June 2.

The lawmakers asked the other companies to submit their responses by May 26 when they became aware of the formula shortage and steps they have taken to increase supply and lower prices.

They wrote in the letters that it is important that your company take all possible steps to increase the supply of formula and prevent price gouging.

After President Joe Biden spoke with major retailers and manufacturers on Thursday, the White House announced a series of measures to alleviate the shortage, including efforts to speed formula production and crack down on price gouging.