Washington, D.C. (May 13, 2022)—Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to four baby formula manufacturers—Abbott Nutrition, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestlé USA, and Perrigo Company—requesting information on the steps these companies are taking to address the shortage of infant formula that is impacting families across the United States. Together, these four companies control nearly 90% of the U.S. market for formula manufacturing. The Committee is also seeking documents from Abbott Nutrition relating to the conditions at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant that led to recent nationwide recalls of several of its infant formula products.
“The national formula shortage poses a threat to the health and economic security of infants and families in communities throughout the country—particularly those with less income who have historically experienced health inequities, including food insecurity,” wrote the Chairs. “It is critical that your company take all possible steps to increase the supply of formula and
prevent price gouging.”
Following a recall of several of Abbott Nutrition’s powder infant formula products, the national out-of-stock rate for infant formula has risen to 43%—a 10% increase from last month’s average. In five states, the out-of-stock-rate is greater than 50%.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately three-quarters of parents use formula to feed their infants. As a result of baby formula shortage, some parents are being forced to ration food or travel for hours to obtain formula, and chain retailers are limiting the amount of formula families can purchase at one time. Third-party online retailers are reportedly taking advantage of the shortage by charging exorbitant prices—in some cases charging families as much as three times the standard price for a can of formula.
The Chairs requested detailed information about the steps the four manufacturers are taking to address the shortage, as well as information and documents from Abbott Nutrition regarding the company’s nationwide recall of several powder infant formula products.
The Chairs are requesting a briefing and responses from the manufacturers by May 26, 2022.
Click here to read the letter to Abbott Nutrition.
Click here to read the letter to Mead Johnson Nutrition.
Click here to read the letter to Nestlé USA.
Click here to read the letter to Perrigo Company.
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