Exclusive: 19 Republican Governors Demand Biden Take ‘More Aggressive Action’ as Baby Formula Crisis Continues

biden baby formula
Drew Angerer/Getty, JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty

Republican governors presented President Joe Biden with a list of demands on Thursday aimed at easing the nationwide baby formula shortage.

The governors called on Biden to take certain steps to make baby formula importation immediately easier and said they are also seeking long-term modifications to the formula supply chain, according to a letter signed by 19 of the country’s 28 Republican governors and obtained by Breitbart News.

“The supply chain for essential goods is broken,” the governors wrote. “And while we have a vested interest in promoting free commerce amongst our states, a crisis that risks the lives of our youngest demands immediate, decisive, and robust action.”

Read a copy of the letter below:

The letter comes after Abbott Nutrition, which Barron’s estimates controls 44 percent of the formula market, shuttered its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, in February and issued a voluntary recall of some of its formula products.

The leading formula manufacturer’s recall sparked the shortage, which the governors observed is being “exacerbated by surging inflation and the rising cost of consumer goods.”

Breitbart News

The governors noted 8.2 million Americans rely on their ability to purchase baby formula and that the out-of-stock rate on the crucial store item is at 40 percent nationwide, and up to 50 percent in six of their states.

Their solutions, in brief, include:

  • Immediately suspending all tariffs, quotas, and similar trade restrictions on infant formula until the crisis is abated.
  • Immediately updating FDA labeling standards on foreign formula.
  • Bringing forward structural changes to the WIC [USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children].
  • Ordering an independent and transparent after-action report of past FDA recall orders.

“We stand ready to enhance the partnership between our states and the federal government as well as the private and public sectors to assist parents in need,” the governors wrote. “Now is the time parents need the assurance that they can provide the basic necessities for their family, and nothing is more critical than infant formula.”

Biden has been slow to respond to the formula shortage, which has been ongoing for months. After bipartisan pressure, the president invoked the emergency Defense Production Act on May 18 to expedite formula ingredients to manufacturers.

The president also announced “Operation Fly Formula,” which mobilized Department of Defense planes to assist with importing foreign formula that meets U.S. federal government standards.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf conveyed on Thursday during a Senate hearing that he expects baby formula availability to return to normal in about two months.

“It’s going to be gradual improvement up to probably somewhere around two months until the shelves are replete again,” Califf said.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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