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U.S. House will investigate baby formula shortage

By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. House Oversight Committee said on Friday it plans to investigate the four largest manufacturers of baby formula and seek answers on...
U.S. House will investigate baby formula shortage © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Empty shelves show a shortage of baby formula at a CVS store in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. May 10, 2022. REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. House Oversight Committee said on Friday it plans to investigate the four largest manufacturers of baby formula and seek answers on how to ramp up production amid a nationwide shortage.

"The infant formula shortage is a crisis for American families," the committee said in a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) post.

U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, who leads the committee, sent letters seeking information to Abbott Nutrition, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestle USA and Perrigo, ABC News reported.

"The national formula shortage poses a threat to the health and economic security of infants and families in communities across the country - particularly those with less income who have historically experienced health inequities, including food insecurity," the letter said.

The investigation, which will look at potential price gouging among other issues, is the latest move in Washington to address the shortage.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) in February recalled some baby formulas, including certain Similac products, made at the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, after complaints about bacterial infections in infants who had consumed the products.

Formula shortages have been compounded by supply-chain snags and historic inflation, leaving about 40% of baby formula products out of stock nationwide, according to data firm Datasembly.

Less than half of babies born in the United States were exclusively breast-fed through their first three months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card.

U.S. President Joe Biden met on Thursday with executives from infant formula manufacturers and retailers, pressing them to do everything possible to get families access.

Some manufacturers have been ramping up production for weeks and officials are also focusing on how to get formula on store shelves faster, said Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council.

The retailers told Biden their top ask is more flexibility on the types of formula they can sell, while consumers need more flexibility on the types they can buy, particularly through the WIC program for low-income families, Deese told CNN.

The nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children is a federal assistance scheme administered by U.S. states.

About half of infant formula nationwide - a roughly $4 billion market - is purchased by participants using WIC benefits, the White House said, and rules set by individual states have a big effect on the availability and distribution of infant formula.

The White House on Friday will reissue guidance, first given in February after the Abbott recall, for states to be flexible in allowing WIC benefits to be used on a wider variety of products, Deese said.

The Food and Drug Administration will announce new steps in the coming days on importing certain infant formula products, the White House said on Thursday, and Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to probe reports of predatory conduct such as price gouging.

Deese would not speculate on how long the shortages might last.

"All of these steps together will make progress. It's not going to solve itself in a day or week," he said.

Two other House of Representatives committees have announced hearings on the shortage.

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21-05-2022 18:47:59 (UTC+7)

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    EUR/USD 1.0562 ↑ Buy  
    GBP/USD 1.2489 Neutral  
    USD/JPY 127.86 Neutral  
    AUD/USD 0.7039 Sell  
    USD/CAD 1.2839 ↑ Buy  
    EUR/JPY 135.05 Neutral  
    EUR/CHF 1.0296 ↑ Buy  
    Gold 1,845.10 ↑ Buy  
    Silver 21.765 ↑ Sell  
    Copper 4.3042 ↑ Buy  
    Crude Oil WTI 110.35 ↑ Sell  
    Brent Oil 112.91 ↑ Sell  
    Natural Gas 8.058 ↑ Sell  
    US Coffee C 216.48 ↑ Buy  
    Euro Stoxx 50 3,657.03 ↑ Buy  
    S&P 500 3,901.36 ↑ Buy  
    DAX 13,981.91 Buy  
    FTSE 100 7,389.98 Neutral  
    Hang Seng 20,717.24 ↑ Sell  
    Small Cap 2000 1,768.35 ↑ Buy  
    IBEX 35 8,484.50 Neutral  
    BASF 48.850 Buy  
    Bayer 63.74 Buy  
    Allianz 195.58 Buy  
    Adidas 172.80 Buy  
    Lufthansa 6.852 ↑ Sell  
    Siemens AG 115.08 Neutral  
    Deutsche Bank AG 9.362 Buy  
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,875/ 6,975
(0/ 0) # 1,795
SJC HCM6,895/ 6,985
(5/ 5) # 1,800
SJC Hanoi6,895/ 6,987
(5/ 5) # 1,802
SJC Danang6,895/ 6,987
(5/ 5) # 1,802
SJC Nhatrang6,895/ 6,987
(5/ 5) # 1,802
SJC Cantho6,895/ 6,987
(5/ 5) # 1,802
Cập nhật 21-05-2022 18:42:59
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ↀ Giá vàng thế giới
$1,846.53 +4.27 0.23%
Live 24 hour Gold Chart
ʘ Giá bán lẻ xăng dầu
Sản phẩm Vùng 1 Vùng 2
RON 95-V30.58031.190
RON 95-III29.98030.570
E5 RON 92-II28.95029.520
DO 0.05S26.65027.180
DO 0,001S-V27.45027.990
Dầu hỏa 2-K25.16025.660
ↂ Giá dầu thô thế giới
WTI $109.83 0 0%
Brent $110.60 0 0%
$ Tỷ giá Vietcombank
Ngoại tệMua vàoBán ra
USD23.000,0023.310,00
EUR23.879,5425.217,23
GBP28.128,1029.328,16
JPY176,49186,84
KRW15,8019,26
Cập nhật lúc 18:37:35 21/05/2022
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