Lawmakers seek funding to prevent another baby formula shortage
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - One year after a critical infant formula shortage gripped the United States, lawmakers said they are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Monday morning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he plans to call for $20 million in additional funding for the Food and Drug Administration to help prevent future shortages.
A news conference was held at 9:30 a.m. at the Diaper Bank of Connecticut.
Right now, there are three large manufacturers of infant formula.
Blumenthal said that’s not nearly enough.
When Abbott abruptly closed last year, parents were in a scramble to find formula on store shelves.
According to Blumenthal, the manufacturer still accounts for 40% of all infant formula.
He said there is now two options: increase federal money that goes to the FDA or establish a second agency.
“We need more money but also more manufacturing capability because dependents can’t rely on just three manufacturers, it’s a recipe for disaster,” Blumenthal said. “We’re here to say more needs to be done.”
The goal of the proposal is to ensure parents never have to worry about feeding their child again.
Blumenthal said he believes his proposal for an office of food safety has growing support but not yet a majority to move forward.
In the meantime, the Department of Justice and FTC are investigating Abbott and the infant formula market.
Blumenthal is hopeful their findings will help rectify the infant formula crisis.
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