UNITED STATES —
As the baby formula shortage continues to affect parents across the country, regional legislators have commented on the crisis.
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) joined a large group of legislators in asking the President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America to make every possible effort to get formula to families.
“This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk,” said the letter to the president. “For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished.”
Over 30 legislators signed the letter.
“This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders,” said the letter. “There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown noted the numerous things that led to the shortage included recalls, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. But as the shortage progressed, parents also started to report price gouging of remaining stock.
“Many Oregon families across the state rely on baby formula to nourish their newborns and children, and it is critical that they can easily access this nutrition without abnormally increased prices,” said Gov. Brown. “This proclamation empowers the Attorney General and the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate instances where price gouging on baby formula may be happening, and to take appropriate action if businesses are found to be in violation.”
Oregonians who think they may have experienced price gouging due to the shortage should contact the DOJ Consumer Protection hotline at 877-877-9392.