By Kelly Laco
EXCLUSIVE: Two top Republican lawmakers, who are also mothers, are demanding the Biden administration’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take swift steps to address the nationwide shortage of baby formula, saying the panic that families are currently feeling is “unacceptable.”
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf Tuesday, asking for answers on how the administration plans to solve the formula shortage.
The nationwide supply of infant formula has decreased 40% since April, leaving parents of newborns frantic to find food to feed their babies. In addition, Abbott Laboratories announced a Similac recall exacerbating formula shortages in recent months.
“We write today to express great concern with the ongoing shortage of infant formula across the United States,” they state in their letter. “As moms ourselves, we know the stress this is causing in so many households.”
The lawmakers blame Biden’s “inflationary policies,” which is fostering an economy that they say is already making it more difficult on families to fill up their cars with gas and purchase essential groceries.
Hinson and Stefanik point to the infant formula shortage as “another example of how this Administration’s supply chain crisis is harming working families.”
“This has caused panic in communities across the country, as popular stores turn to rationing formula to make their stock last. Parents should never be in a position of not knowing where to procure formula for their babies. Frankly, these empty shelves are unacceptable. Families deserve better,” they write.
Hinson told Fox News Digital that she is willing to work with the Biden administration to immediately solve supply chain disruptions that are keeping baby formula from being re-stocked.
“Working families are already worried about how much their groceries are going to cost because of inflation, and now, parents have the added stress of not knowing if the baby formula they need will even be in stock. The Biden Administration must prioritize fixing supply chain disruptions and getting baby formula back on the shelves. I’ll work with anyone who will work with me to ensure that families don’t have this extra burden.”
“Parents can’t wait weeks for baby formula,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital. “Bare Shelves Biden’s failed policies have created and worsened this supply chain crisis, and our families are paying the price. I’m proud to bring the concerns of mothers to the highest levels by demanding answers from the FDA on their actions to immediately address this crisis and prevent it from happening again. Our families deserve certainty.”
Despite the shortages, experts warn against parents making their own baby formula, saying that it may be unsafe for infants.
The FDA confirmed receipt of the letter and plans to respond to the House members directly, a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
“The FDA remains committed to using all available tools to oversee the safety, effectiveness and quality of FDA-regulated products and help ensure that Americans have access to essential and safe products. Our first and foremost priority is ensuring that any recalled product remains off the market and are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and manufacturers to ensure that parents have access to alternative, safe infant formula. We will and must continue focusing on taking all steps possible to protect the health of those who rely on safe powdered infant formula,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The agency is also working to “ensure the safe resumption of production of infant formula at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility,” detailing that the plant remains closed after the FDA’s inspection of the facility earlier this year found there was a “risk of contamination.”
“The FDA remains in close communication with Abbott to ensure that the FDA’s regulations and standards are met in order to resume production safely.”
Biden addressed rising inflation and the supply chain crisis in a speech Tuesday, claiming that his policies “help, not hurt.” Inflation numbers from March reached a 40-year high, to which Biden credited Russia’s war on Ukraine, which caused oil and gas prices to spike, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s my top domestic priority,” the president said about reducing inflation, which is impacting everyday Americans trying to buy essential gas and groceries. “I’m here today to talk about solutions.”