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USA's baby formula shortage explained. How are lawmakers fighting this crisis

Baby formula is fed to infants below the age of 12 months. Due to stockpiling in the pandemic and other reasons, it is in short supply in the USA and has worried many parents. 

India TV Trending Desk Written by: India TV Trending Desk New Delhi Published on: May 17, 2022 20:22 IST
baby formula
Image Source : FREEPIK

Baby formula is in short supply in the USA

Many in the USA, including lawmakers and parents, have been worrying over the shortage of baby-formula. Convenience stores in the country, including states like Texas and Tennessee, have all sold out almost all of the baby formula on the shelves. Nationwide, 40 percent of formula is out of stock. What has led to this severe shortage of baby formula in the USA and what the lawmakers are doing to fight this problem, let us see.

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What's causing the baby formula shortage?

A bacteria named Cronobacter sakazakii was found in a popular baby formula brand and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) ordered an instant recall of the product. Additionally, parents were discouraged from buying the said brand's baby formula. 

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The second reason for the shortage of baby formula is the pandemic. Since 2020, when the Coronavirus spread all over the world, stockpiling is being carried out. baby formula has also been one of the products that have been stocked by people in the USA leading to a shortage. 

Finally, a third factor which relates to trade policies has also been a driving factor that has caused the shortage of baby formula in the USA. 

How to deal with baby formula shortage?

-- For infants without a soy allergy, soy-based formulas are healthful options for infants and provide the nutrients the baby needs in the first six months of life.

-- Breast milk is best. The decision to use formula should be limited mainly to cases of medical necessity.

-- Do not make your own formula or water down formula to make it last longer, and never feed unmodified cow’s milk to infants.

-- Consider a human milk bank. Contact your state’s department of health to find out if it has information on human milk banks in your area.

What are US lawmakers doing to fight this crisis?

The US administration has planned to reopen its largest domestic manufacturing plant to fight baby formula shortage in the country. It is also increasing imports from overseas. The Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the US. 

(With inputs from AP News)