Right now, a baby formula shortage is rocking Americans from coast to coast, with stores running short of the desperately needed product and parents having to worry about their babies going hungry as a result, not for lack of money or planning but for lack of supply of the basic necessity.
One such parent fretting over how she’ll feed her young children is Kayla Zurenko, a mother of four with two 10-month-olds that need baby formula to stay alive, baby formula that can’t be found near anywhere.
After searching in stores in three states near her for baby formula, along with placing an order for the necessity online that was canceled for lack of supply, Kayla took to social media to let vent about the critical issue, saying, as Fox News reports:
“This has GOT to be addressed!!!! “Raise the gas prices, inflate the food [prices], but give our babies the food they NEED!!!!”
“I shouldn’t have to search a tri-STATE area for baby formula,” she added, “and STILL not find any!”
“My online orders are being canceled, stores are out, with no end in sight. This should be TOP priority immediately for every government agency and this joke of an administration! THIS IS SCARY!”
Unfortunately, it looks like something more akin to a government-caused crisis, even if the government is not scrambling to address it.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tacitly admitted to that in a recent press conference, saying, when asked about the shortage and the FDA’s roll in causing it:
Well, let me first say, as you know, but — the FDA issued a recall to ensure that they are meeting their obligation to protect the health of Americans, including babies — who, of course, were receiving — or taking this formula — and ensure safe products are available. That’s their job.
Ensuring the availability of these products is also a priority for the FDA, and they are working around the clock to address any possible shortage.
[…]Okay, so what the FDA is doing — which, while they are independent, they are part of the administration — is taking a number of steps to address. That includes working with major infant formula manufacturers to ensure they’re increasing production, because part of this issue is, of course, making sure there is stock on the shelves — right? — and working with the industry right now to optimize their supply lines, product sizes to increase capacity, and prioritizing product lines that are of greatest needs. Because, obviously, as someone who — my child has long been out of formula, fortunately, but it’s close enough that I remember when you were trying to go to the store and get the specific kind of formula for your age child or whatever their needs are. So they are — they are taking steps with that in mind.
So yes, the FDA is scrambling to reverse the problem it and the suppliers of the product created when a recall was issued, but the problem is still there and parents are worrying that their children will go hungry as a result.
There doesn’t appear to have been, however, much planning that went into preparing for any crisis caused by the recall, as Jen admitted that there isn’t a stockpile of formula:
I don’t believe there’s a national stockpile of baby formula. But the FDA does — it is not just their responsibility, in their view, to ensure that we are meeting our obligations to protect Americans. It is also their obligation to take steps to ensure supply can be met when they take these steps. So that is what they’re very focused on.
So, the government issued a recall that created a shortage before first making sure enough of the product would be available for parents and is now scrambling to heal the hole it shot in America’s foot. Sounds about right.