Finally the White House Gets Serious About the Baby Formula Crisis

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Posted: May 19, 2022 5:30 AM
Finally the White House Gets Serious About the Baby Formula Crisis

Source: (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The White House announced Wednesday evening President Joe Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act in hopes of managing the worsening baby formula shortage.

"To ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home, President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA). The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good. Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains," the White House released late Wednesday. 

 "To speed up the import of infant formula and get more formula to stores as soon as possible, President Biden has directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use Department of Defense (DOD) commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster," officials added. "DOD will use its contracts with commercial air cargo lines, as it did to move materials during the early months of the COVID pandemic, to transport products from manufacturing facilities abroad that have met Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards. Bypassing regular air freighting routes will speed up the importation and distribution of formula and serve as an immediate support as manufacturers continue to ramp up production."

Just last week outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Defense Production Act wouldn't work to alleviate the current baby formula crisis. 

President Biden told reporters Friday, before jetting off to Delaware, he would answer questions about the crisis because it was "on the front of every newspaper."

As Leah reported, a number of babies have been hospitalized as a result of the shortage. 

The White House claims administration officials have been working on the problem for months. Given the timeline of response, that clearly isn't true.