Brown, Colleagues Push Infant Formula Manufacturers to Address Crisis, Get Formula on Shelves ASAP



WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 13, 2022 – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and a group of their colleagues to send a letter to Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America, calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids.
“We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need,” wrote the senators.
In the letter to the Infant Nutrition Council of America, the senators stressed how dire the situation is for families, and urged formula manufacturers to act to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.
In April, following multiple reports of illness and two tragic deaths linked to recalled infant formula manufactured by Abbott Nutrition, Brown and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf demanding information on the FDA’s actions and plans to investigate these reports and to prevent other infants from falling ill.
In addition to Brown, Murray, Casey, and Feinstein, the letter to the Infant Nutrition Council or America was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Full text of the letter is available here and below:
Mardi Mountford, M.P.H.
President
Infant Nutrition Council of America
3200 Windy Hill Road S.E., Suite 600W
Atlanta, GA. 30339
Dear President Mountford:
We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need.
Over the past several months—and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier—it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. According to a recent report, between November 2021 and early April 2022, the national out-of-stock rate for infant formula rose to 31 percent—an 11 percent increase.[1] These numbers varied significantly across the country, with some metropolitan areas seeing out-of-stock rates of over 50 percent. In several states, more than half of their infant formula supply was sold out by the last week of April.[2] Major retailers are implementing nationwide restrictions on infant formula purchases.
This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished. This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders.[3] There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.
We urge the Infant Nutrition Council of America and your member companies to do all you can to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,