BY The Western JournalMay 9, 2022
2 years ago

Babies and Adults Literally in Danger of Dying as Empty Shelves of Specialty Formulas Plague US

At this point, most Americans have already felt the impact of President Joe Biden's inability to lead the country. As supply chain issues and inflation continue to ravage the country, nearly everyone is spending more money for necessities than only a year ago.

Yet for some Americans, the concern goes far beyond their wallets and bank accounts.

According to a CNN report Monday, many stores across the country are unable to stock baby formula, and parents are sounding the alarm.

In April, the data collection firm Datasembly found the out-of-stock rate for baby formula in the United States had surged to 31 percent. For comparison, the rate stood between 2 and 8 percent during the first half of 2021.

Things have gotten worse since that report, and the out-of-stock rate now stands at 40 percent, CNN reported.

"This issue has been compounded by supply chain issues, product recalls and historic inflation," Datasembly CEO Ben Reich told CNN. "Unfortunately, given the unprecedented amount of volatility to the category, we anticipate baby formula to continue to be one of the most affected products in the market."

While the effects of inflation and supply chain problems in Biden's economy have been well documented, parents told Politico the federal government needs to be held accountable for product recalls, too.

Many of the baby formula supply problems stem from an Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan. In February, the company announced major recalls of its products following complaints that four infants contracted a bacterial infection from baby formula made at the facility.

Two of the babies died from the infection, and the subsequent FDA investigation "found serious food safety violations at the plant," Politico reported. It has been shut down since that point.

The FDA conducted a routine inspection of the plant a few months prior to the four infections, but it did not find any major violations. In addition, a whistleblower warned the FDA in October of potential food safety concerns, Politico reported.

Instead of taking action at that point, the FDA waited until two infants had died to conduct an investigation. Parents told Politico that hesitancy and the abrupt shutdown in April could lead to even more deaths.

Even adults are at risk.

In addition to the normal baby formulas, the plant in Sturgis "was the major supplier of several lesser-known specialty formulas that are a lifeline for thousands of people with rare medical conditions," Politico reported.

The conditions include metabolic, allergic and gastrointestinal disorders that make it impossible for children and some adults to consume regular food. As the shutdown continues, parents and caretakers fear they will soon be unable to get the special formulas.

“If this doesn’t get fixed soon, I don’t know how my son will survive,” a woman identified as Phoebe Carter told Politico. Her 5-year-old son has a digestive and immune system disease that makes his body reject food antigens.

Carter said that, in addition to hesitating on the investigation of the Abbott Nutrition plant, the Biden administration has not taken enough action to help the plant reopen.

“If, God forbid, a family member of President Joe Biden or Jeff Bezos or someone influential had one of these diseases, this crisis wouldn’t have made it to Day Two,” Carter told Politico.

"Because no one understands this issue and knows it’s happening, there’s no hope for us — that’s how it feels.”

Most of these special formulas are amino acid-based, and these formulas are sometimes the sole source of nutrition for both children and adults with specific disorders. Multiple caregivers told Politico the pharmacies and medical supply companies that usually provide these formulas have little to none of them in stock.

Meanwhile, major stores are limiting the supply of regular baby formula customers are allowed to buy. CVS and Walgreens both told CNN they are only allowing customers to buy three baby formulas per transaction, while Target is limiting customers to four units in online transactions.

While some Americans struggle to afford gas and groceries, others fear they cannot even obtain their only source of nutrition, or nutrition for their infants. This is the state of Biden's America.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: The Western Journal



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