Another pandemic seems to be ongoing in the US with the recent alarming scarcity of baby formula. There has reportedly been a 10 percent drop in the stock rate for the item, leading to new parents trying their hands on another alternative; homemade formulas. However, health experts have advised against such.
While several people have blamed coronavirus for the shortage, others have accused the recall of a brand after four babies were hospitalized and two died. One other major reason for the scarcity is undoubtedly the antics of retailers. Taking advantage of the market, retailers have doubled and even tripled the price of baby formula in their possession to the detriment of the buyers.
In a clip circulating on social media, an alleged retailer and a customer are seen exchanging words. The bone of contention is obviously the insane number of baby formulas in the individual’s cart and the lack of them on the shelves.
Woman Confronted For Taking All The Baby Formula
With the ongoing struggle for baby formula, it’s safe to say that tensions and tempers are exceedingly high for new mothers. The shortage of baby food led to a heated confrontation between two women in the middle of a store.
In the footage making rounds on social media, with the formula shelves glaringly empty, a woman is seen confronting another for what she suspected was taking the remaining cans of the formula to sell at a higher rate.
Despite the admonition, the lady walked away with her prize, leaving the other woman with nothing. The video was posted to social media along with a caption that blamed people, not companies, for the formula shortage. “People like this cause the shortages, not enough formula for kids but hey, let’s ban abortions,” they wrote.
The Baby Formula Scarcity Was Due To A Brand’s Recall
The national out-of-stock rate for baby formula reportedly reached 43 percent last week, a 10 percent increase from last week. Several explanations were given for the sudden drop in the formula’s availability, from talks about COVID being behind it to blaming it on a formula product recall.
The defective brand recall occurred this year after around four babies were hospitalized for bacterial infection, and two died. However, the entire situation was worsened due to the continuous supply chain woes and labor shortage. Another problem is reportedly a constant difficulty in securing raw materials.
The seemingly dire state of things has led to several Americans’ panic buying— a repeat performance of the pandemic era— and some retailers increasing the price of the ones they have in stock. Abbott Nutrition, the company that recalled its products, revealed that it was doing its best and increasing production in the other plants in the US and shipping in formula from Ireland.
Some Patients Are Making Homemade Formulas
While a shortage in tissue paper is manageable, a scarcity in baby formula is a whole other ball game. Being unable to feed one’s child for even a small amount of time is nothing short of terrifying. As a result, some parents have decided to go through another route, like researching homemade recipes for infant formulas online.
Health esports have, however, warned against such formulas, revealing that they don’t have the adequate nutrients and might have other unsavory components. The program manager for the San Antonio federal Women, infants and Children program, Kelly Bocanegra, released a statement that discouraged watering down the formula.
He said, “We also recommend not watering down the formula because it can lead to poor nutritional balance and create serious problems.” Mothers were also encouraged by doctors to increase their breast milk output to make up for the lack of formula.
The F.D.A Said They Were ‘Doing Everything In [Their] Power’
The shortage provided a means for Republicans to blame President Joe Biden and assert that his administration wasn’t doing enough to increase production. Senator Mitt Romney reportedly sent out a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday concerning the situation.
The F.D.A revealed that their officials were working with Abbott Nutrition to restart the baby food production at its Sturgis plant in Mich. They also mentioned that they had arranged several meetings to facilitate the production of formulas with other instant formula manufacturers.
The F.D.A commissioner, Dr. Robert M. Califf, released a statement that read, “We recognize that many consumers have been unable to access infant formula and critical medical foods they are accustomed to using and are frustrated by their inability to do so. We are doing everything in our power to ensure there is adequate product available where and when they need it.”