Parents are sounding the alarm about the ongoing impact of the nationwide baby formula shortage months after the crisis began. While the FDA finally admitted to its delayed response, parents are calling for action amid continued scarcity and higher prices.
The FDA claimed staffing shortages and poor training was to blame for the late response, and the commissioner explained that the organization has little power to compel companies to “do the right thing” without intervention.
Parents, however, maintain that something should have been done sooner.
“This should have never got to the point that it is now,” Cailee Yielding, a Mississippi mother of a 7-month-old, said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday.
Yielding said she regularly faces empty shelves, and, when she does find a can of formula, it costs $56 and only lasts one week.
“It is so expensive that you just can’t afford to be able to feed your child,” she said.
Jillian Arroyo, a Virginia resident, told Ainsley Earhardt that she is unable to find formula that meets her child’s needs, which has forced her to continue breastfeeding. She reached out to Abbott Nutrition but received no answers.
“No timeline, nothing. No information,” she said.
Abbott released a statement saying the company expects specialty formulas to be more readily available in the next two to four weeks, but Arroyo remained skeptical.
“I would love to believe that,” she said. “We need it. Our daughter needs it. I don’t have much faith in them right now.”
Arroyo said there has been no accountability for the continued delay in restocking the supply.
“They’ve been saying ‘in the coming weeks’ for seven months, nobody’s holding them to it. There’s no pressure from the FDA,” she said.
“It’s parents on social media. It’s moms like me and Cailee that are putting the pressure on Abbott.”
Chris Arroyo, father of a two-year-old, questioned what action Abbott is actually taking because shelves remain empty despite the company’s claim that there is formula available.
“It’s very frustrating because you want to do everything you can to help your family,” he said, noting that the shortage is still a very real problem.
“At the end of the day, Abbott needs to feel the pressure from our regulatory authorities as well as from the general public, because otherwise we’re just going to maintain the status quo,” he said.