Florida’s Surgeon General Confronts FDA Over Baby Formula Shortages – When Will Baby Milk Be Freely Available Again?

Toby Hazlewood

Dr. Ladapo calls out a lack of communication from the FDA

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Dr. Ladapo and Gov. DeSantisTwitter of FLSurgeonGen

On May 12 Florida's Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting clarity over when parents with young infants can expect the current shortages of baby formula to ease. It follows weeks of shortages, which have seen stores limiting sales of baby formula to ration out supplies amongst all who need them.

Dr. Ladapo shared his letter on Twitter:

When will factories be reopened?

Shortages are due to supply chain issues across the country, compounded by the closure of one of the biggest manufacturing plants for baby formula - the Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan. It was shut down by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after an inspection earlier this year reported unsanitary conditions at the plant.

As Dr. Ladapo put it in his letter:

"Time is of the essence to restart production at the Abbott facility, yet the FDA has failed to produce any preliminary findings necessary to begin the reopening process and update the nation on this issue."

Whether his letter prompts a response or action from the FDA remains to be seen.

Supplies were down by almost a third in April

A recent study carried out by Datasembly has revealed the scale of the problem.

According to their data, supplies of baby formula were down by 31% from normal levels in the month of April 2022, which starts to explain the shortages being experienced by families with young kids.

With such shortages impacting upon Florida's parents, it's understandable that they will do anything to ensure their infants are fed.

National retailers like Walgreens and CVS have limited customers to three baby formula products per purchase. At Target, customers can buy up to four baby formula products in a single transaction.

Opportunists taking advantage

Meanwhile, callous opportunists on ebay have been taking advantage of the situation.

A 20 ounce can of Enfamil Gentlease formula that would normally sell for $26.48 at Walmart (if they had any in stock) can be picked up on ebay right now, for $49.95 plus shipping - based on this opportunistic listing.

It seems that wherever there's money to be made, some are happy to make it regardless of how unfair or unscrupulous their actions may be.

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Baby formula listing on ebayScreenshot from eBay

Hopefully Dr. Ladapo's letter will prompt some response from the FDA. It seems a situation that won't be resolved any time soon, unless manufacturers can increase supply to meet demand.

Have you experienced a shortage of baby formula in your local stores? Do you believe the government is doing all it can to resolve the issue? Let me know in the comments section below.

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