The Great Baby Formula Shortage

Two years ago it was toilet paper, now it is baby formula–a much more serious shortage. I am tuned in to it in part because one of my daughters is the mother of eight-month-old twins and has had a hard time finding formula. What is going on here? My colleague John Phelan looks at the issue and concludes that the culprits are shutdowns and the FDA:

What is going on? The Wall Street Journal explains:

There are two reasons for the shortage. Supply chain issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have made baby formula harder to find for months. The shortage worsened after Abbott Laboratories, a major formula manufacturer, voluntarily recalled some products and closed a plant where the products were made in Sturgis, Mich.

The Abbott Labs plant is now re-opening, not apparently being the source of the contamination that the FDA investigated.

John Phelan comments:

The FDA has shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that it is at least as much a hindrance to public health as it is a help. Lockdowns were policies enacted for very little — if any — benefit at a cost that can, as yet, only be guessed at. What is sure is that it will be young Americans who bear the majority of those costs, as the formula shortage shows once again.

More links and commentary at InstaPundit. You know the situation is serious when Mitt Romney gets involved:

On Tuesday, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture, asserting that federal officials have been too slow to respond.

I never used to be a cynic. I always had faith in our institutions. But one wonders whether this mother has a point:

“If this doesn’t get fixed soon, I don’t know how my son will survive,” said Phoebe Carter, whose 5-year old son John — a nature-lover and ‘paleontologist in training’ — has a severe form of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a rare digestive and immune system disease. “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 said.

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