May 20, 2022 - News

Dallas hit hard by baby formula shortage

Percentage of baby formula out of stock in <span style="color: white; background-color:#ff7900; padding: 2px 4px; margin-right:3px; white-space: nowrap;">Texas</span>and <span style="color: white; background-color:#1085df; padding: 2px 4px; margin-right:3px; white-space: nowrap;">U.S.</span>
Data: Datasembly; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Texas is being hit hard by the baby formula shortage, with more than half of the state's expected formula stock absent from shelves the week of May 1, according to Datasembly, a retail software company.

Why it matters: Parents have been left scrambling to find single cans anywhere to feed their children, and many stores are now limiting the amount of formula customers can buy.

Details: The U.S. is facing a nationwide baby formula shortage due to pandemic-induced supply chain issues and a recent product recall.

What they're saying: A Fort Worth mother told WFAA that she drove to 20 stores in one day in search of formula. Her 7-month-old daughter can only tolerate one brand.

  • "Sometimes I want to cry when I don't find it," Amanda Mendoza said. "I don't know if she's going to eat."

At stake: Baby formula has become an unlikely political cudgel. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott called it "shameful" that the Biden administration was providing formula to children whose parents may have crossed the border illegally.

  • "While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the Biden administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border," Abbott said in a statement.

Yes, but: The federal government is required to provide food and water to migrant children detained at the border, part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit from 1997.

Of note: Rep. Beth Van Duyne launched a website aimed at helping parents find formula.

  • It mostly consists of people posting photos of the formula aisles in local grocery stores.

What's next: President Biden announced this week that he invoked the Defense Production Act to help address formula supply.

  • The bill gives the Food and Drug Administration $28 million to increase its staff to help inspect baby formula before it arrives on grocery store shelves, reports Axios' TuAnh Dam.

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