Today, Congresswoman Moore supported the Access to Baby Formula Act and the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, bills to respond to the infant formula shortage. The Access to Baby Formula Act will give the United States Department of Agriculture the authority to waive certain Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women Infant, and Children (WIC) program requirements, ensuring that low-income families can purchase available baby formula using their WIC benefits despite ongoing disruptions. The Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act would provide emergency funding for the FDA to support its numerous efforts to respond to the shortage and increase access to formula.
“The baby formula shortage is straining families throughout the country, including families whose options are limited because they can only access WIC-approved formulas with their monthly benefits. WIC benefits pay for half of baby formula sold nationally.
But it is clear that the impact of this shortage is sweeping, including for families whose children needs can only be met through specialty formula. What are these families supposed to do? How can we protect the families most at-risk of insecurity during this crisis?
Our most vulnerable families should not have to fend for themselves in this time of need. This is about protecting our babies now and in the future! That’s why I am supporting legislation that will give these WIC families the flexibility to purchase formula during emergencies, including the current shortage. I also voted for legislation that will provide resources to the FDA to implement the steps that it is taking to resolve supply chain issues and work to ensure a safe supply of infant formula. By making sure that the FDA can hire staff and increase inspections as it works with the industry to get more supply on the market, we also ensure that the formula that is available is safe and high quality. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will act swiftly on both bills.”
In February 2022, an Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan voluntarily recalled several infant formula products (including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers not to use these recalled products.
With Abbott Nutrition products feeding 89 percent of babies participating in WIC, this shortage has had an acute impact on low-income families.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a vital program that women and children depend on to meet their nutritional needs. The program benefits the health of babies and plays a role in reducing infant mortality.
WIC is vital and must remain a lifeline, especially during emergencies, which is why this legislation must be advanced now.
Read more about the Access to Baby Formula Act here.
Read more about the Supplemental Funding to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the baby formula shortage here.