Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) made good on his promise to write a letter to the FDA regarding the nationwide infant formula shortage.
The letter references the “urgent” need for formula that has “serious implications” for “infant health.” The senator expressed how he was “deeply concerned” for the situation going forward.
Romney referenced the infant formula recall at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility as well as deaths associated with contaminated products. The letter goes on to discuss concerns about the “formula product shortages affecting American families from the essential shutdown of the Sturgis facility.”
“The recall and shutdown affects affordability and availability of infant formula — several chain retailers are limiting the number of products per purchase to manage inventory and desperate families face skyrocketing costs through third-party sellers,” the letter continues.
The document also notes, “Infant formulas are also not easily interchangeable: some infants develop allergies or sensitivities, and some infants require specific formulas based on medical conditions.”
After months of shortages, government officials and journalists are beginning to address the baby formula crisis publicly under mounting public pressure. Many of these public figures suggested it was a tragedy that funding was being directed to other issues when parents were struggling to feed their babies.
“Tennessee parents are struggling to find baby formula. What is Joe Biden doing to help families?” Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweeted Monday.
“You can’t find baby formula in the United States right now but Congress is voting today to send $40 billion to Ukraine. Let’s put America First for a change,” Donald Trump Jr. posted.
Meghan McCain wrote a scathing article for the Daily Mail, saying, “If America’s supply of erectile dysfunction pills were at risk then our government would have snapped into action, but when it came to a mass shortage of life-sustaining baby formula this administration dragged its feet.”
Romney had previously vowed to send a letter to the FDA on the matter, which he followed through with Tuesday.
“I’m very concerned about [the shortage],” Romney previously said, according to HuffPost. He said he is trying to understand “how they could make a decision about safety that apparently didn’t seem to include consideration about supply — because supply is also essential for the health of our children — and I can’t see how badly they misjudged, apparently, the setting that we’re in.”
Baby formula has been difficult to find since last summer amid supply chain issues that were affecting the food supply more broadly. This February, the problem became worse following recalls of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare brands from the Sturgis factory. At least four babies got sick and two died due to bacterial infection linked to that formula, which inspired the recall.
The cause of deaths are still under investigation.
FOX 29 reported that retail data firm Datasembly shows 40%-50% of major formula brands sold out last week in 26 states. The states most affected by the shortages are Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.