In the United States, it is becoming more and more difficult for parents to find infant formula, due to a shortage.
At the end of last week, according to Datasembly, the stock-out rate for these baby milks reached the 43% mark, up 10% compared to April.
Faced with the empty shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies, the purchase of these infant formulas is like an obstacle course. Randy Feenstra, elected official from Iowa, thus reported families forced to travel between 80 and 160 kilometers to obtain it.
This shortage is not new since it has been going on for months, but it has worsened in recent weeks.
A factory shut down
As Elisabeth Guédel, CNEWS correspondent in New York, explained in La Matinale this Friday, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the country had already faced shortages, due to difficulties in supplying certain ingredients from China. As a result, prices had started to soar, prompting Americans to stock up. Except that the production did not follow the strong demand.
To this already very complicated situation, a health problem was added in February with a wave of poisoning in babies, which left two dead.
In question, a Michigan factory of the manufacturer Abbott, which produces the most popular milk for Americans, Similac, has been shut down, further aggravating supply problems. To date, the site has still not resumed production.
This shortage, dramatic for many parents, turned into a political crisis, with the opposition criticizing the lack of reaction from Joe Biden’s administration.
The exasperation even won the camp of the president. “Right now, babies are hungry, babies are crying, we have to respond to this now,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi thundered Thursday.
The White House finally reacted, claiming to take the situation very seriously. “Our message to parents is: we heard, we want to do everything we can,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The Biden administration seized the competition authority on abuses linked to the shortage, in particular the resale of preparations at exorbitant prices. While the United States produces 98% of the formula milk it consumes, the authorities plan to increase imports.
However, the White House has not indicated a date for the end of the crisis.