WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) led 30 of their Democratic colleagues in sending a letter on Friday to Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America, calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids.
“We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need,” wrote the Senators.
Over the past several months, and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier, it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. As noted in Huffington Post, Senators Casey and Murray quickly demanded more information from Abbott in light of the recall back in February. Senator Casey also requested information from the FDA on what steps the agency was taking to ensure infant formula stays on shelves, as well as details of its investigation into Abbott.
In the letter to the Infant Nutrition Council of America today, Senators Casey and Murray and their colleagues stressed how dire the situation is for families, and urged formula manufacturers to take action to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.
“This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished,” the letter continued. “This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders. There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.”
The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The full text of the letter can be found here.