Congresswomen Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, yesterday helped pass two bills that will improve families’ access to infant formula, ensure every baby has the nutrition they need, and prevent this shortage from happening again.
HR7790, a supplemental funding bill, provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urgently needed resources to help address the infant formula shortage. HR7791, the Access to Baby Formula Act, provides flexibility so that low-income families can continue purchasing safe infant formula with their Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits.
“I’ve heard from families in Alabama who are being forced to drive hours to find infant formula,” said Rep. Sewell. “This is completely unacceptable and it’s why I joined my House Democratic colleagues to provide additional resources to the FDA to quickly end this shortage and prevent it from happening again.”
“We know that this crisis disproportionately impacts women and children who rely on WIC benefits,” continued Sewell.“That’s why the Access to Baby Formula Act is so critical, ensuring these vulnerable families aren’t left behind. I’m glad that Congress is taking decisive action and remain committed to ensuring that families in Alabama ALWAYS have access to safe formula for our children.”
In response to the infant formula shortage, HR7790, the supplemental funding bill, would provide the FDA with urgently needed resources to address the crisis and prevent it from happening again. This funding would increase the number of FDA inspection staff, provide resources for personnel working on formula issues, help the agency stop fraudulent baby formula from entering the marketplace, and improve data collection on the formula market.
The infant formula shortage has taken an especially dangerous toll on vulnerable women and children who use WIC benefits to purchase formula. In response, the Access to Baby Formula Act provides flexibility so that low-income families can continue purchasing safe infant formula with their WIC benefits during a crisis, such as a supply chain disruption.
The Access to Baby Formula Act is particularly important as nearly half of all infant formula is purchased using WIC benefits and 89 percent of WIC participants purchased formula from Abbott Nutrition—the manufacturing plant that closed and spurred the shortage crisis.
In February 2022, an Abbott Nutrition facility 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.
For more information about the Access to Baby Formula Act, click here.