WASHINGTON – Rep. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva helped pass two bills that will improve families’ access to infant formula, ensure every baby has the nutrition they need to live and develop and prevent this crisis from potentially happening again.
The supplemental funding bill (H.R. 7790) provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urgently needed resources to help address the infant formula shortage, 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.
Regrettably, the infant formula shortage has taken a significant toll on vulnerable women and children who use Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits to purchase formula. In response, the Access to Baby Formula Act(H.R. 7791) 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.
“This current situation is alarming as it has disproportionately affected women and children who rely on WIC benefits to purchase formula. WIC participants represent many vulnerable families in Arizona and across the nation, and the Access to Baby Formula Act ensures we do not leave them behind. By providing increased flexibilities, this legislation is delivering on WIC’s promise to provide families in need with the nutrition children need to live and develop,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The FDA plays a vital role in ensuring formula meets nutritional needs and is manufactured in the safest way possible. We must ensure that this critical agency has the tools it needs to quickly get safe formula to parents and babies. By passing this bill, Democrats are ensuring that the FDA can end the current shortage and help prevent it from ever happening again.”
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.
To learn more about the Access to Baby Formula Act, click here.