Australian companies have come forward to help solve the problem of infant formula in the United States. The U.S. government has recently declared that it faces a nationwide shortage of baby formula products.
The U.S. government had to ease its import policy because it was getting too difficult to address the demands of consumers in the country. This caused many baby food manufacturers outside America to send over their supplies – like Bubs Australia, who brokered a deal for 1.2 million cans of formula and the U.K. with 2 million.
In addition, the FDA spoke with Australian and New Zealand dairy firms for possible deals, including Fonterra – the world’s biggest exporter of dairy.
A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment stated in an email, “The Australian government will continue to work with the Biden Administration to confirm regulatory arrangements and facilitate exports of infant formula.”
“Australian Government agencies have been actively engaging with the Australian infant formula industry to help secure supply of infant formula to the U.S.”
The FDA decided to withhold details from the public at the moment.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industry said that it is helping the U.S. deal with the shortage because they are “in a good position” at the moment.
The ministry told the media that they are still waiting on the decision of the companies on the amount of formula they are willing to ship to the U.S.
What caused the start of the shortage
When Abbott Nutrition closed its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, it caused a massive decrease in the supply chain of infant formula products. Datasembly, a retail tracking company, puts the decrease of the total supply at 43% during the first week of May.
The Food and Drug Administration has priorly announced a warning against the use of certain products from Abbott Nutrition, including their powder-based infant formula. The agency reported two deaths since September in which victims were consuming the company’s Similac specialty product — one being an infant who recently died last February.
The problems caused the sudden drop in infant formula products across the United States. It has forced parents to look for alternative solutions.
President Joe Biden then called a meeting with Walmart, Target, Gerber, and Rickett to discuss measures that the companies can take to reduce the shortage of infant products. Biden also notified other agencies like The Federal Trade Commission so they might take action against those who engage in predatory behavior during the scarcity.
Despite the measures, the U.S. was still met with high demands and low supply; that is why authorities had to turn to foreign imports.