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    ‘It’s a nightmare’: baby formula shortage leaves US parents desperate

    Strained supplies are further exacerbated after a recall by manufacturer Abbott, experts say

    US news

    ‘It’s a nightmare’: baby formula shortage leaves US parents desperate

    Strained supplies are further exacerbated after a recall by manufacturer Abbott, experts say

    Gloria Oladipo @gaoladipo

    Mon 9 May 2022 17.06 BST

    The US baby formula shortage is leaving manufacturers scrambling and parents in desperation.

    During the week starting 24 April, 40% of baby formula was out of stock in more than 11,000 stores across the country, CNN and USA Today reported, compared to an out-of-stock percentage of 2 to 8% during the first half of 2021.

    In six states – Texas, Tennessee, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri – more than half of available baby formula in stores was sold out during the week of 24 April, according to CNN and USA Today, citing information from the website Datasembly.

    Amid fears of formula stockpiling, several major retailers, including Walgreens and CVS, have placed limits on how much formula parents can buy at a time.

    Experts say that strained baby formula supplies were further exacerbated after a recall by the manufacturer Abbott Nutrition. In February, Abbott voluntarily recalled three of its products after reports of illness among infant consumers, including two who died.

    Reports of infant illnesses investigated following US formula recall

    Read more

    The Abbott recall particularly afflicted families who rely on public benefits such as WIC – a special supplemental food program for low-income women and children – because the manufacturer was the exclusive supplier for more than half of the agencies administering WIC, Brian Dittmeier of the National WIC Association told the New York Times.

    Now, parents who are desperate to secure a regular supply of baby formula for their children are having increased difficulty obtaining a single can.

    Many parents have been relying on social media groups to stay abreast of inventory restocks and possible bargains. The groups have been particularly useful for parents whose children require certain types of formulas due to allergies or other medical issues.

    Particularly in areas with low supply, parents have been forced to travel to neighboring states just to see if any formula is available there.

    “It’s a nightmare,” Ashley Hernandez, a mother of two, said to the Times. Hernandez has been procuring formula for her two girls from eBay, frantically messaging potential sellers about her requests.

    As the scarcity intensifies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement saying it was aware of supply issues that the Abbott recall had aggravated, especially when coupled with shortages stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

    “The FDA is working with Abbott Nutrition to better assess the impacts of the recall and understand the production capacity at other Abbott facilities that produce some of the impacted brands,” the FDA said in a statement.

    Other baby formula suppliers have said they are adjusting their operations to meet the increased demand created by the Abbott recall.

    For example, the manufacturer of the Enfamil infant formula told USA Today that its factories are running 24/7 and shipped out 30% more of its formula during its first quarter of the year.

    But as supply chain issues worsen and store shelves remain empty of formula, parents of infants are growing more uncertain about how to feed their babies.

    “Every day, we hear from parents who are hurt, angry, anxious and scared,” Dittmeier, of the National WIC Association, said to the Times. “The lives of their infants are on the line.”

    Topics US news Children Retail industry news Reuse this content

    Source : www.theguardian.com

    U.S. to boost baby formula imports to ease shortage after Abbott Nutrition recall

    During the first week of May, 43% of baby formula supplies were out of stock at stores across the U.S., according to Datasembly.

    SKIP NAVIGATION HEALTH AND SCIENCE

    U.S. to boost baby formula imports to ease nationwide shortage after Abbott Nutrition recall

    PUBLISHED THU, MAY 12 20225:45 PM EDTUPDATED 3 HOURS AGO

    Spencer Kimball @SPENCEKIMBALL WATCH LIVE KEY POINTS

    The Food and Drug Administration will announce specific actions to increase baby formula imports in the coming days amid a nationwide shortage, senior administration officials said.

    During the first week of May, 43% of baby formula supplies were out of stock at stores across the U.S., according to Datasembly, a company that tracks retail data.

    The shortage comes after Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s largest baby formula manufacturer, closed its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, amid a recall due to contamination concerns.

    Four infants who consumed products from the plant were hospitalized with bacterial infections. Two of the infants died.

    WATCH NOW VIDEO02:05

    Nationwide shortage of baby formula affects parents across the country

    The U.S. will increase baby formula imports as part of an effort to ease a nationwide shortage, senior Biden administration officials said on Thursday.

    The scarcity of formula was triggered in part by the closure of a Michigan manufacturing plant after two infants who consumed its products caught bacterial infections and died.

    The Food and Drug Administration will announce specific actions to boost formula imports in the coming days, the officials said. The U.S. produces 98% of the infant formula its consumes. Chile, Ireland, Mexico and the Netherlands are potential sources for additional imports, according to the officials.

    Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s largest baby formula manufacturer, issued a recall in February for several powered formulas. The move came after four infants who consumed products from its Sturgis, Michigan, plant were hospitalized with infections from the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii. Two of the infants died.

    Abbott closed the Sturgis plant and recalled its Similac PM 60/40, Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powered formulas manufactured at the Michigan facility. The company said Cronobacter sakazakii was found at the plant, but not in areas where it makes product. All finished product tested came back negative for the bacteria, according to Abbott.

    The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have instructed parents to check Abbott’s website to find out if they have a product under recall. The FDA is advising consumers not to use recalled Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas.

    WATCH NOW VIDEO02:23

    Baby formula shortage hits families hard

    The plant closure and recall have left parents scrambling to find baby formula.

    During the first week of May, 43% of baby formula supplies were out of stock at stores across the U.S., according to Datasembly, a company that tracks retail data. Abbott said it can restart the Sturgis plant within two weeks if the FDA signs off, but it will take up to eight weeks for products to make it to stores.

    President Joe Biden met earlier on Thursday with Walmart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber to discuss ways to ease the shortage. Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to use its power to monitor reports of price gouging amid the shortage, and the Justice Department is working with state attorneys general to deal with predatory behavior by retailors, the administration officials said.

    The CDC has not identified any additional cases of infection related to the powered formula and has closed its investigation. It has called for state health departments to report any infant Cronobacter infections they find.

    Cronobacter can cause blood infections or make the linings around the brain and spinal cord swell, according to the CDC. Symptoms include a fever, poor feeding, excessive crying, very low energy and seizures.

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    What is causing the baby formula shortage? Supply chain issues, product recalls blamed

    The ongoing infant formula shortage appears to be getting worse. Nearly 40% of popular brands are sold out. Recalls and supply chain issues are blamed

    Akron Beacon Journal

    What is causing the baby formula shortage? Supply chain issues, product recalls blamed

    Chad Murphy

    Wed, May 11, 2022, 8:19 PM·3 min read

    The ongoing infant formula shortage appears to be getting worse, with nearly 40% of popular baby formula brands sold out at retailers across the U.S. during the week starting April 24, according to an analysis by Datasembly, which assessed supplies at more than 11,000 stores.

    That's a higher level than other products, said Ben Reich, CEO of the Tysons, Virginia-based research firm.

    "Inflation, supply chain shortages, and product recalls have brought an unprecedented amount of volatility to the category, and we expect to continue to see baby formula as one of the most affected categories in the market,” he said.

    Some retailers have been rationing sales.

    Abbott Laboratories manufacturing plant is shown in Sturgis, Mich., Sept. 23, 2010. Federal safety inspectors say baby formula maker Abbott failed to maintain sanitary conditions at the Michigan manufacturing plant recently linked to a cluster of infant illnesses. The Food and Drug Administration began investigating the plant after Abbott recalled several leading infant formulas. FDA inspectors have been on-site inspecting the Sturgis facility since late January 2022. (Brandon Watson/USA TODAY via AP, File)

    Maker recalls Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas

    In February, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled three types of infant formula after four babies became sick with bacteria infections after consuming the products.

    The recall was for select lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas that were manufactured at an Abbott facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

    In March, the Food and Drug Administration issued preliminary findings about the formula maker's failure to maintain sanitary conditions and procedures at that plant.

    Baby formula powder is harder to find since Abbott Nutrition issued a recall in February 2022 for select lots of Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas that were manufactured at an Abbott facility in Sturgis, Mich.

    CVS, Target, Walgreens limit amount of formula shoppers can purchase

    Walgreens continues to limit shoppers to three infant and toddler formula products per transaction, Walgreens Boots Alliance spokesman Steve Cohen said. "Due to increased demand and various supplier challenges, infant and toddler formulas are seeing constraint across the country," he said.

    Baby formula shortage worsens: About 40% of popular brands sold out across US

    The situation is the same at CVS, which limits three baby formula products per purchase in its stores and online, according to a statement to USA TODAY from CVS Health, which owns the pharmacy chain. "We’re continuing to work with our baby formula vendors to address this issue and we regret any inconvenience this causes our customers," the statement continued.

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    A baby-formula shortage that has been slowly intensifying for months is now reaching a state of emergency in the US: over 40 percent of formula is out of stock across the country, according to a report from Datasembly. Caregivers faced with empty shelves are sharing stories of finding price-gouged bottles online and feeding their infants cows' milk or homemade or watered-down formula.

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    Source : news.yahoo.com

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