FDA Chief Suggests Stockpile Of Baby Formula Once Crisis Ends In July

KAISER HEALTH NEWS – Dr. Robert Califf, the FDA commissioner, didn’t recommend specifics for stockpiling the formula during his testimony before a Senate committee. He told senators that he expects the U.S. will have a surplus of formula again in about two months.

The Hill: Formula Shortage Won’t End Until July, FDA Chief Says
The nation’s infant formula shortage likely won’t be fully resolved until late July, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told senators Thursday. During a Senate Health Committee hearing, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said it will take time to get to the point when store shelves are fully stocked but that eventually there will be a surplus. (Weixel, 5/26)

The Wall Street Journal: National Baby-Formula Stockpile Is Urged By FDA Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf proposed a national stockpile of baby formula that authorities could tap to ease future shortages. Dr. Califf said in a hearing Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that he expects recent government and private sector moves will produce a surplus of formula in about two months. (Whyte, 5/26)

Reuters: U.S. FDA Expands Collaboration With Danone To Boost Baby Formula Supply
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it has expanded its collaboration with Danone’s Nutricia business to boost supplies of specialized medical baby formula bottles to address its shortage among infants with certain allergies or critical health conditions. The health regulator said about 500,000 additional cans manufactured by Danone would be sent to the United States. (5/26)

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The Washington Post: As Baby Formula Shortage Continues, D.C. Charity Offers Free Formula Bottles To Families
Behind the refrigerator’s glass door Mark Bucher saw a single 8-ounce bottle of Similac baby formula. It was 9:30 a.m. at the Glassmanor Community Center in Prince George’s County. The fridge had been filled once this morning with formula, Bucher said, and this was all that was left a few hours later. “These bottles individually are like $4,” Bucher said as he propped open the fridge door and began placing bottles inside from a new Similac 24-pack. “It’s expensive. And if you don’t have SNAP benefits, that’s $16 a day to feed your kid, roughly speaking. That’s stressful.” The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides benefits to needy families to purchase food. (Swenson, 5/26)

North Carolina Health News: StarMed Comes To The Rescue With Baby Formula
On Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., cars were lined across the StarMed Healthcare parking lot on the outskirts of Charlotte. Under a white tent, volunteers were handing out small paper bags filled with one canister of baby formula to people who had waited an hour to get nourishment for their babies. StarMed has become a part of a statewide effort to distribute formula to families who have searched far and wide to find the necessity on store shelves. (Whitlow, 5/27)

AP: Baby Formula Shortage Highlights Racial Disparities
As parents across the United States struggle to find formula to feed their children, the pain is particularly acute among Black and Hispanic women. Black women have historically faced obstacles to breastfeeding, including a lack of lactation support in the hospital, more pressure to formula feed and cultural roadblocks. It’s one of many inequalities for Black mothers : They are far more likely to die from pregnancy complications, and less likely to have their concerns about pain taken seriously by doctors. (Martin, Licon and Tang, 5/27)

Kansas City Star: KC Docs: Here’s What Not To Do During Baby Formula Shortage
A few days ago an Ohio mom with more than 12,000 Facebook followers shared a recipe for homemade baby formula that’s making the social media rounds. The ingredients? Water, Karo syrup, evaporated milk and baby vitamin supplements. “This is how a lot of kids grew up!!!” she wrote. Facebook flagged the post for missing context: “Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people.” Overland Park pediatrician Natasha Burgert is so worried that parents are following advice like that that she recently issued a warning on Twitter. She and other pediatricians and health officials are cautioning parents who are scrambling for alternatives during the ongoing baby formula shortage. (Gutierrez, 5/27)

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