‘American babies are going hungry’: Sen. Mike Lee introduces FORMULA Act to ‘combat’ supply crisis

While President Joe Biden shifts blame and assures the baby formula shortage will be sorted out in weeks, Republicans and Democrats demonstrated he is the problem as “American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), though disparate in their approaches, are both introducing legislation drawing attention to Biden’s idle response to the infant food crisis. For his part, Lee will be presenting the Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans (FORMULA) Act which actually removes many of the obstacles that would allow shelves to restock their supplies rapidly.

Despite the contrived acronym, Lee is presenting a simple solution that not only increases access to formula but seeks to ensure that market factors will not set the cost at a further detriment to families already burdened by inflation, and that recalls like the one that escalated the crisis won’t further compound the problem.

In his statement on the forthcoming legislation, Lee said, “American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way. Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage. Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry.”

The senator’s bill aims to tackle a number of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) stopgaps that led to the crisis in the first place. Not only would it open up the market of imports currently prohibited, often because of international differences in labeling, Lee’s bill would temporarily remove the burdensome limitations that WIC recipients have and allow them to purchase alternative formulas beyond the government contracted suppliers.

DeLauro seeks to provide $28 million in additional funding to the FDA to better equip them to address the shortage.

“The stories of mothers and fathers struggling to find formula and the images of empty store shelves are heartbreaking,” she said in a statement. “Parents and caretakers across the country cannot wait – they need our support now. This bill takes important steps to restore supply in a safe and secure manner. Additionally, with these funds, FDA will be able to help to prevent this issue from occurring again.”

Ultimately, both prove the shortcomings of Biden who said last week, “I think we’re going to be in a matter of weeks or less getting significantly more formula on shelves. And the FDA has also made sure we can import and still maintain the high safety standards.”

Biden’s assurances don’t fall in line with the regulations that Lee seeks to address in the FORMULA Act, nor do they address the concerns that Americans have voiced over supplies currently being allocated reportedly to the southern border.


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Kevin Haggerty


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