WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) joined Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) to introduce the Protect Infants from Formula Shortages Act to layout the groundwork for maintaining a stockpile of formula, establish notification requirements, direct producers to develop risk management plans, and strengthen Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection authority. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is leading the Senate companion bill.
“The formula crisis has revealed alarming gaps in our supply chain,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “Learning from this experience, we must now put guardrails in place to prevent future crises. I am pleased to join my colleagues Congresswoman Schrier and Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz in leading the Protecting Infants from Formula Shortages Act to directly address the stockpile issue and promote coordination with the FDA and manufacturers.”
“It seems inconceivable that we could have a baby formula shortage in 2022. This is preventable. Most babies, even those who are primarily breastfed, rely on formula. Baby formula is a little bit different from food in that babies under six months are nearly entirely dependent on it. In some ways, it makes it more like medicine than food and we have an early warning system for drug shortages,” said Congresswoman Schrier. “We need an early warning system for when formula supplies may run low. And we need the ability to stockpile formula in the case of an emergency. We must do all we can to prevent such a shortage from happening again.”
“As a mother, I am horrified by the recent infant formula shortages I have seen and heard about. We must act swiftly and effectively to address it, including being proactive to prevent this and similar issues like it from happening in the future. This bill does that, by helping ensure families always have access to safe formula. I am proud to lead this legislation with my colleagues,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz.
Since the onset of the baby formula emergency, Congresswoman Hayes has been working to ensure families can feed their babies. Congresswoman Hayes led the introduction of the Access to Baby Formula Act to provide waiver flexibility for families enrolled in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during extenuating circumstances. The legislation was signed into law by President Biden in May.
A factsheet on the Access to Baby Formula Act can be viewed here.