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House Appropriations Committee to Hold Hearings on Infant Formula Recall and Nationwide Shortage

WASHINGTON —House Committee on Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) and House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chair Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02) today announced that the House Appropriations Committee will be holding two hearings to examine the recall of infant formula produced at an Abbott facility, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) handling of the recall, and the nationwide infant formula shortage.

“The House Appropriations Committee is leading the way in examining the contaminated infant formula produced at an Abbott facility that led to at least 4 hospitalizations and the deaths of at least 2 babies, the FDA’s delayed response to this horrific incident, and the subsequent nationwide infant formula shortage,” said Chair DeLauro. “The whistleblower report I submitted for the record details a culture at Abbott of falsifying records, turning a blind eye to safety and product concerns, and retaliating against any employee who brought these issues to light. It is not enough to simply focus on supply chain issues. We must examine many states’ reliance on infant formula produced by Abbott. We must ensure federal food safety agencies are doing their job. And lastly, we need to find solutions that keep our children fed and prevent this contamination and shortage from ever happening again. I look forward to hearing from Commissioner Califf and a panel of experts on this critical issue.”

“It is deeply concerning that a lapse in infant formula safety has led to the death and hospitalization of at least two babies. This problem is made worse because many families and state nutrition programs rely on the infant formula supplier in question, and the recall has resulted in a shortage. These hearings will help Congress move quickly to investigate and address these problems,” said Subcommittee Chair Bishop. “I look forward to our discussions so that families across the country can count on having access to safe, affordable, and vital nutrition for their young children.”

On May 19 at 10:00 AM, the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee will be holding a hearing with Commissioner Robert M. Califf on the FDA’s fiscal year 2023 budget request as well as oversight of infant formula. Details on the May 25 hearing with a panel of experts to follow.

During the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the fiscal year 2023 budget request for the United States Department of Agriculture, Chair DeLauro submitted for the record a report acquired from a whistleblower who worked at the Abbott facility which produces infant formula recalled by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February. The report outlined allegations of wrongdoing including falsification of records, releasing untested infant formula, and a history of coverups and lies at Abbott’s facility.

The release of this report followed DeLauro’s letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Christi A. Grimm asking for her assistance in investigating whether the FDA took prompt, appropriate, and effective action leading to the recent recall involving infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition.

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