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Panic Buy Baby Milk

The strain on supplies has forced major retailers including Walgreens, CVS, and Target to limit the amount of the specially formulated milk customers can buy, according to USA Today. Images shared on social media show empty shelves in the formula aisles.

panic buy baby milk

Abbott is the main supplier of baby formula to low income women and children through state benefit programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The manufacturer was the exclusive supplier for more than half of the agencies administering WIC, Brian Dittmeier of the National WIC Association told the New York Times.

Yes, baby formula does expire. The can should tell you the expiration date, which is usually a year for unopened products. The FDA warns against ordering formula online from outside the U.S., as it could be counterfeit.

Sylvain Charlebois, director of the agrifood and analytics labs at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told Global News that Canada is not immune to what is happening in the U.S. as Canada relies on its neighbour to the south to import baby formula.

A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children.

Charlebois added declining birth rates in the past 20 years have led to the consolidation of only three companies controlling the baby formula market and that is why the closure of just one plant is having such a widespread effect.

New York law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are vital to their health, safety, or welfare for an unconscionably excessive price. Due to the nationwide shortage, OAG advises consumers to buy only as much formula as they need and not to unnecessarily stock up as such panic buying may intensify the shortage and could encourage sellers to engage in illegal price gouging. The OAG also reminds consumers that it is not price gouging for retailers to limit the amount of formula they sell to individual consumers.

On top of that, the shortage has gained wide publicity in newspapers, on TV and in political speeches. All that publicity feeds into public sense that the system is failing, prompting more panic buying and hoarding.

After the age of six months, things get a little better once the infant is able to start eating solid food. But even then, formula or breast milk remains the primary source of nutrition. So there may still be a risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as iron deficiencies.

For months stores have struggled to fill the shelves with baby formula. It got so bad that some retailers like CVS and Walgreens put a cap on how much formula you can buy in one transaction. Health experts believe the shortage is largely because of recalls and inflation.

"The shortage has occurred due to a recall by a very large milk manufacturer Abbott nutrition, their formula Similac, had three very popular brands that were recalled after some infants fell ill, two of whom passed away unfortunately, as a result, there was a recall on a great number of formulas," said Pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center, Ashanti Woods.

"We want them to hold off on diluting their formula. So we want to make sure that you don't put too much too much water into the formula to dilute it or stretch it," Woods said. "We also don't want families resorting to home milk or cow's milk too early. Typically, we introduce cow's milk when a child is twelve months of age or older, so we don't want families giving cow's milk to their infant during this formula shortage because it can be harmful."

Abbott Nutrition is the food sector arm of medical device and health care giant Abbott Laboratories, making products that range from carb-loaded drinks that help patients rebound from surgery, to energy drinks, to powder and liquid baby formula. Though it maintains a global manufacturing network, its plant in Sturgis, Mich., is among the few in the U.S. that produce formula.

In response, Labrecque-Baker travelled to another pharmacy in the city and bought five times the amount she normally does. Then she started to stress as she fed her baby and watched her stockpile slowly shrink.

Her son has an intolerance to cow's milk protein and relies on Alimentum, a product by American formula maker Abbott, which voluntarily recalled its products in February after four illnesses were reported in babies who had consumed powdered formula from its Michigan plant.

This would mean that panic-buying in bulk could make inflation even worse. Pakko adding, "Anytime you have an increase in demand, where more people are trying to buy goods, then that are available on the store shelves, then there, the price often serves as a signal of scarcity."

Major retailers nationwide have begun limiting the amount of formula shoppers can buy as supply-chain issues exacerbated by a recall in mid-February of one brand have made searching for baby formula stressful for parents.

As shoppers panic-buy everything from hand sanitizer to toilet paper and beans, some Bay Area mothers are expressing concern on social media about whether supplies of infant formula, diapers and other essentials will run low.

Danone has gained extensive media coverage this week by calling on supermarkets to ration its formula to customers with the unlikely tale that so much is being purchased to send to China it cannot keep up with demand. If Danone was truly concerned about unofficial exports it would surely have tried to counter these by reminding people that should exports from EU countries are prohibited as the products are not labelled correctly for the destination country. Instead its suggestion of rationing is publicising its brands and there are reports of shortages due to panic buying.

Nestlé and Danone are both profiled in the Breaking the Rules, Stretching the Rules 2010 monitoring report from the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). In response to the report Nestlé said it would act on just 3% of the violations in its profile. Danone claimed to have already taken action to stop 50% of the violations in its profile. Nestlé is the target of a boycott, which forces some changes in marketing practices and policies, and Danone has been warned it may also be targeted with a consumer campaign if it does not address all concerns. Breastmilk substitutes are not included in the list of Nestlé products to boycott as there may be times when these are the only ones available for babies being fed on formula.

Bobbie Organic Infant Formula is a USDA Organic, EU-style infant formula that meets all FDA requirements. It is a complete nutrition milk-based powder modeled after breast milk and is easy on tummies. It is non-GMO and doesn't have corn syrup, palm oil, or maltodextrin. Learn more about Bobbie.

DO NOT attempt to make home-made infant formula. This can be tempting, especially if you see a recipe on the internet, but this is not safe and will not give your baby all the nutrients they need. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against making your own formula since it is dangerous for your baby.6

The baby formula shortage is far from over, but to prevent future scarcity, the United States is taking a critical look at what went wrong earlier this year. On September 20, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an internal report on the fumbles and mishaps that led to a delay in response to the formula crisis. A number of reasons were listed, including outdated data systems, insufficient emergency response systems capable of managing multiple public health emergencies, and lack of consumer education on how to handle and prepare infant formula. The agency also acknowledged that there are many unknowns about the bacterial contaminant Cronobacter, which was reportedly found in baby formula products from Abbott Nutrition.

March 29, 2023: Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Frank Yiannas has told House lawmakers that ware are still not doing enough to prevent another baby formula shortage.

October 1, 2022: U.S. regulators yesterday unveiled a new plan to prevent future baby formula shortages. The plan is a little scary. Foreign baby formula manufacturers will be permitted to continue to sell in the U.S. to allow for more sellers of baby formula.

July 15, 2022: The in-stock statistics that many of us have become familiar with that measures the expected demand that stores have available for sale was 72% for baby the week ending July 10, 2022. This is up 2% from the week before but still abysmal.

June 9, 2022: Danone SA said it will try to help the baby formula shortage in the United States. The French company says it has doubled production and is sending its specialized baby formula to the United States.

June 7, 2022: The baby formula shortage is not getting better. According to Datasembly, out-of-stock rates jumped to 74% in the U.S. for the week that ended May 28. This is up from 70% the previous week. This crisis will hopefully soon be over. But we are not there yet. 041b061a72


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