House lawmakers take on baby-formula shortage: ‘We expect answers from the FDA, Abbott’

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On Wednesday, Democratic and Republican lawmakers put the focus on baby formula makers, the Biden administration and industry experts due to a continuing shortage, with two House hearings on Capitol Hill.

“We look forward to responses from the FDA, Abbott and the other two leading formula makers on why caregivers are struggling to find the nutrition they need to support their babies and children,” said Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado. presides over the Chamber. The Oversight Subcommittee of the Energy and Trade Committee, when it kicked off the hearing of this panel.

Food and Drug Administration officials, including Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, were to testify before the DeGette subcommittee, along with representatives of Abbott ABT,
Nestlé NSRGY,
Gerber Business and Reckitt RBGLY,

“The big question I have today is why the Biden administration let the shortage be so severe before acting with any urgency,” said the subcommittee’s top Republican, Representative Morgan Griffith of Virginia.

A second hearing on formula shortages is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, East, organized by the Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and with formula experts.

Legislator comments come as Washington continues to react to an ongoing shortage of infant formulas across the country.

The Biden administration has taken steps to address the shortage that includes military air bridges from formula Europe. The Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday that it has opened an investigation into the shortage, seeking information on any unfair trade practices and on the factors that have led to the concentration in the market of fragile formulas and supply chains.

In this video, Colonel Democrat Diana DeGette speaks at the United States Capitol on February 11, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

Critics of the administration argue that the United States should “focus on the root causes of non-importation of Europe’s highest quality formulas, including high tariffs and strict FDA import requirements. , especially when it comes to labeling, “Kim Monk, a health analyst and CEO of Capital Alpha Partners, said in a statement.

“The shortage of formulas is complex, and includes a trade policy, state monopoly contracts with the USDA’s WIC program, and also the FDA’s strict import / labeling requirements,” he also wrote, referring to the Program. Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women of the Department of Agriculture. Children and Infants.

“But first, lawmakers want some answers about why it took the FDA four months to respond to a complainant’s complaint about safety issues at Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan plant.”

Abbott has apologized for his role in the national shortage of infant formula. The company voluntarily recalled some of its formulas manufactured at its Sturgis, Michigan plant after FDA officials found a potentially deadly bacterium there, in a move that exacerbated the existing shortage created by the company’s problems. supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Califf confronted a bipartisan gridlock at a separate House hearing last week, saying he could not share details due to his agency’s ongoing investigation when lawmakers asked him why the FDA took months to investigate a whistleblower complaint about security breaches at Abbott’s plant.

Republicans have repeatedly criticized the Biden administration for its lack of formulas, and criticism is likely to continue, as the GOP intends to reclaim the House and Senate in the November midterm elections.

Now read: Experts suggest using WIC government benefits to get infant formula in the midst of a national shortage, but these frustrated parents say it’s not a viable option.

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