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Fri May 13, 2022, 12:35 PM

House panel launches investigation into baby formula shortage

Source: The Hill

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is launching an investigation into the ongoing baby formula shortage, pressing the four largest domestic manufacturers for documents and information about the steps they are taking to alleviate the crisis.

The four companies — Abbott, Reckitt Benckiser, Nestlé and Perrigo — control nearly 90 percent of the U.S. market for baby formula.

“The national formula shortage poses a threat to the health and economic security of infants and families in communities throughout the country—particularly those with less income who have historically experienced health inequities, including food insecurity,” committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) wrote to the companies.

The lawmakers asked if the companies have enough supply to meet current demand and what steps they are taking to lower prices, prevent price gouging and increase consumer access.



Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/house-panel-launches-investigation-into-baby-formula-shortage/ar-AAXeZ8C

26 replies, 1445 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply House panel launches investigation into baby formula shortage (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 13 OP
C Moon May 13 #1
OnlinePoker May 13 #3
TheRealNorth May 13 #4
Cozmo May 13 #2
oldsoftie May 13 #6
JCMach1 May 13 #20
BumRushDaShow May 13 #5
LeftInTX May 13 #7
inthewind21 May 13 #8
BumRushDaShow May 13 #10
womanofthehills May 14 #22
BumRushDaShow May 13 #9
BadgerKid May 14 #23
BumRushDaShow May 14 #24
Initech May 13 #12
BumRushDaShow May 13 #14
Initech May 13 #16
BumRushDaShow May 13 #18
nitpicker May 13 #11
BumRushDaShow May 13 #15
sybylla May 14 #26
Warpy May 13 #13
SouthernDem4ever May 13 #17
Warpy May 13 #19
NullTuples May 13 #21
myohmy2 May 14 #25

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:10 PM

1. Sounds like there could be something evil brewing there.

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Response to C Moon (Reply #1)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:12 PM

3. Nestle's involved, so that's a given. n/t

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #3)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:24 PM

4. Yup

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:11 PM

2. TFG's tax on products from overseas has contributed to the shortage

People were hoarding formula during the pandemic so demand issues for baby formula went down. Then of course there were recalls of formula which all contributed to the shortage. REpukes would have the public think that this is a vast left wing conspiracy and the reason why we should not support Ukraine.

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Response to Cozmo (Reply #2)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:33 PM

6. No, the problem is we simply don't pay attention to risk & suppliers.

And Press Biden has left those tariffs in place.
We have THREE companies producing most formula. And when something happens to ONE, look what happened. We get 90% of our semiconductors from China & Taiwan. When they shut down for covid, look what happens; cars can't be built, appliances etc. We get 80+% of our meat from FOUR producers. We get 95% of our antibiotics from CHINA.
The list goes on & on. We simply MUST make laws to just about FORCE companies to get OUT of China. And we must find a way to spread out our supply chains for critical products so that another rCovid like event doesnt cause the exact same problems.
Will Congress do it? NO because most of them get tons of money from the big companies that would have to give up some market share to make our supplies more secure

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #6)

Fri May 13, 2022, 04:14 PM

20. We need to be dropping China like a hot potato simply for their

14 hr. X6 day work shifts... i.e slave labor

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:27 PM

5. The only one who might have an "excuse"

is Abbott because they have been operating under volunatary recalls due to adulterated and contaminated formula this past fall and winter, resulting in a number of illnesses and even some infant deaths.

This means investigating, tightening the processes, sanitizing, and finally restarting, which is apparently about to happen -

Abbott to Restart Troubled Baby Formula Plant

But it could be eight weeks before stores start restocking shelves.


May 12th, 2022
Unit 202 Productions, Eric Sorensen, David Mantey


On Wednesday, Abbott Laboratories said that production at a troubled infant formula plant in Michigan could restart within two weeks. In February, Abbott recalled baby formulas made at its plant in Sturgis after complaints of bacterial infections in infants who drank specific Similac products. As a result, two infants died, and several babies were hospitalized.

Once the company gets the go-ahead, it will restart EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first, with Similac and others to follow. Unfortunately, it could be six to eight weeks before stores start restocking shelves, which won't help a supply chain already failing in many areas of the country, even the daycare my children attend.

On April 20th, when the company had to slash its sales forecast for its nutrition division, Abbott called the recall a "short-term hindrance" and noted that it was working with the FDA on corrective actions.

https://www.ien.com/video/video/22223648/abbott-to-restart-troubled-baby-formula-plant


Note that I never heard of any "shortages" like this during the lockdowns the first year of the pandemic in 2020.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #5)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:34 PM

7. White House 'strongly' considering using Defense Production Act to address infant formula shortage,

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #7)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:46 PM

8. Is there a cow shortage

too? Threatening the health and economic safety of infants? Everyone does know that formula is a mass produced product sold for profit and pimped by hospitals yes? Babies all over the world were fed for centuries BEFORE the "hey we can make a profit off of babies" formula was thought of. All formula is, is cows milk, protein and vitamins.

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Response to inthewind21 (Reply #8)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:52 PM

10. One of the claims being made by the dairy industry

is that there is a "supply chain issue" with getting animal feed.

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Response to inthewind21 (Reply #8)

Sat May 14, 2022, 12:32 AM

22. You forgot the corn syrup and vegetable oil - gross!

Ingredients European baby formulas mostly made with goat milk don’t have.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #7)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:51 PM

9. I heard that discussed last night on the news

although it seemed it was the RW loons who were demanding it (while they had ignored doing the same for COVID-19 PPE production - at least until they could line up the companies needed to line their own pockets ).

CFSAN has some very strict specifications for that and I know one of the concerns over the years with imports (and/or other "new" manufacturers) was to make sure that any shady Chinese companies didn't manage to insert themselves into the supply chain, and mix powdered melamine into the powdered dairy product, and sell that to use to make the formula.

China dairy products found tainted with melamine

Published

9 July 2010



Chinese food safety officials have seized 64 tonnes of raw dairy materials contaminated with the toxic industrial chemical melamine. The Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, reported that the quality watchdog in Qinghai province took the material from a dairy plant there. Test samples showed the milk powder carried up to 500 times the maximum allowed level of the chemical.

The use of melamine in milk in 2008 killed six babies and made 300,000 ill. The latest batch of contaminated powder was first found in Gansu province and traced back to the Dongyuan Dairy Factory in Minhe Country, in neighbouring Qinghai. Another 12 tonnes of finished milk powder products, also found to be tainted, were seized.

The owner and a production manager at the factory have been detained. Around 38 tonnes of the raw material were bought from Hebei province, the source of the 2008 scandal, police said. This means traders may have bought tainted milk that should have been destroyed in 2008 with the intention of processing it and reselling it, Wang Zhongxi, deputy chief of Gansu's quality control bureau, was quoted as saying.

Serious concern

Melamine is used to make plastics, fertilisers and concrete. When added to food products it indicates a higher apparent protein content but can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. In 2008, melamine was found in the products of 22 Chinese dairy companies - one out of every five suppliers in China.

(snip)

https://www.bbc.com/news/10565838

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #9)

Sat May 14, 2022, 07:35 AM

23. Melamine contaminated pet food years ago, too.

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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #23)

Sat May 14, 2022, 08:33 AM

24. The pet food fiasco was around the same time for similar reasons

where you had criminal organizations of "suppliers" (mostly in China) who were "cutting" raw powdered ingredients with melamine to boost the protein content to pass a nutritional sampling and analysis, and provide them a profit.

Two were eventually executed (although the head of the company that sold the tainted product, got a life sentence) -

China executes two for tainted milk scandal

Tania Branigan in Beijing
Tue 24 Nov 2009 11.36 EST



China executed a dairy farmer and a milk salesman today for their role in a tainted infant formula scandal in which at least six children died and 300,000 were made ill, state media said. Nineteen others have been jailed since January in connection with the case, which involved deliberately contaminating milk with melamine, a chemical used in manufacturing plastics and fertilisers.

It resulted in product recalls around the world and caused outrage in China, particularly when details of a cover-up emerged.Sanlu, the company at the heart of the scandal, knew that its milk was making babies ill by May last year, but it did not inform officials in Shijiazhuang city until August. Officials there waited a month before telling Hebei provincial authorities, who then told Beijing.

Rumours that babies were being taken ill after consuming Sanlu formula reached Chinese reporters by July, but they appear to have believed the issue was too sensitive to cover in the run-up to the Olympics, when the government was determined to present positive images of China. Parents were furious to learn that dairy farmers and middlemen had deliberately added melamine to boost the apparent protein levels of milk so that it would pass nutritional tests.

Zhang Yujun, a farmer, was executed for endangering public safety and Geng Jinping for producing and selling toxic food, the state news agency Xinhua reported. It said Zhang had produced and sold hundreds of tonnes of melamine-laced "protein powder" and Geng had sold more than 900 tonnes of tainted milk. Much of it ended up at Sanlu – at the time one of China's biggest dairies – where it was made into infant formula.

(snip)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/24/china-executes-milk-scandal-pair

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #5)

Fri May 13, 2022, 02:28 PM

12. Why do people still vote for clowns like Abbott?

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Response to Initech (Reply #12)

Fri May 13, 2022, 03:07 PM

14. In this case, "Abbott" is the name of the company ( "Abbott Laboratories" )





They make lots of things including one of the popular COVID-19 test kits -

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #14)

Fri May 13, 2022, 03:16 PM

16. Oh I was thinking of Greg Abbott. LOL.

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Response to Initech (Reply #16)

Fri May 13, 2022, 04:00 PM

18. I definitely understand!

He has defiled the name. I just know back in the day, we used to have "Abbott's Dairy" (a local Philly company that closed almost 40 years ago) and bought their ice cream.



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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 02:16 PM

11. Is that why the grocery store is locking up formula??

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Response to nitpicker (Reply #11)

Fri May 13, 2022, 03:15 PM

15. I know around here (Philly and some of the immediate surrounding area)

they had started locking up formula, in some cases, also putting it right at the front of the store near the cashier, years ago. This practice was most severe during the various recessions although at my local supermarket, when they recently re-did the store, I think they finally put it back on the shelves. Haven't really paid attention anymore but should just check the next time I'm at the store.

I remember when my youngest nieces and nephews were using it, it was like $25/can, but that was awhile ago. Not sure how much it is now.

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Response to nitpicker (Reply #11)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:45 PM

26. Grocery stores locking up baby formula goes back to the 80s at least.

The only brand when I was buying for my babies that wasn't locked up was Gerber, because they were the new guy on the market challenging the monopoly at the time with less expensive formula.

It's sad that we have even fewer formula producers now. This is the GOP deregulation and not giving a sh*t about mergers.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 02:31 PM

13. My guess is that it's a transportation problem

and that they're just not getting what they need to make the stuff or ship it out once it's made, and my guess says the latter is the real problem.

Women made formula at home for decades before the big companies got into it. The manufactured stuff is actually better for many reasons, it's carefully balanced to be as close to mother's milk as possible, but if your baby is screaming from hunger and you've been to every store in your area and come up empty, it might be an option.

There are a lot of sites out there with recipes, some better than others and some can be lethal, as in DO NOT USE HONEY OR RAW MILK. I also remember one many years ago that suggested not only those things but also adding an amount of potassium chloride that killed a few newborns. That book is out of print, small wonder. Some doctors have issued a blanket warning about home made formula because of these issues and that does a disservice.

A simple substitution recipe like https://wehavekids.com/parenting/Emergency-Baby-Formula can get you through a day or two while you're waiting for supplies to arrive. This has to be made under clean, not sterile, conditions and that means everything has to be freshly washed in soap and water or in a dishwasher. Just don't try to keep a kid on it instead of the better formula unless you want an anemic kid.

I'm recommending this only as a stopgap for a few days while supplies are en route and plentiful enough that the hoarders get burned. Breast is best, formula will definitely work well, and homemade, stopgap formula will keep your baby from screaming with hunger and getting dehydrated, but is not a long term solution.



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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 03:22 PM

17. With a draconian SCOTUS about to flood the market with illegitimate babies

we better get the formula issue worked out. Personally, I think this all goes along with the oil and gas supply issue where they think they can just make more money on less supply. Inflation anyone?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 04:06 PM

19. Probably transportation issues

Those could be solved within weeks if Congress changed the way truckers are paid. Putting in a 20 hour day and only getting paid for the eight or so they were actually on the road is obscene.

Another issue is hoarders, people noticing the shelves were a little empty and buying up everything that was left. At best, they're stupidly selfish. At worst, they're evil.

It's the same thing at work with other shortages, toilet paper to peanut butter to chicken.

It's not going to get any better, either, until transportation is improved and that means Congress has to change some rules that dated from Saint Ronnie;s time.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 08:45 PM

21. An investigation that has no teeth. We need real industry regulation...

...and agencies with teeth and clear mandates that the SCOTUS cannot undo.

But to push for that we first have to control Congress & the White House, and without DINOs like Manchin & Sinema.

While we're at it, let's fix the Court, too...

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2022, 10:19 AM

25. this...

...is Republican corporate fault and responsibility...

"...Abbott, Reckitt Benckiser, Nestlé and Perrigo — control nearly 90 percent of the U.S. market for baby formula."

...not the Biden administrations fault and responsibility...

...put the blame and responsibility where it belongs...

...

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