May 23rd, 2022
There is a good article in the Atlantic Magazine by Derek Thompson called What's Behind America's Shocking Baby Formula Shortage?
According to the article there are three major factors driving the shortage: 1) a bacteria called Cronobacter sakazakii was found contaminating formula in a plant in Michigan. 2) Covid caused less babies to be born reducing formula demand which in turn reduced production. 3) Trade and FDA policies have thwarted the importation of formula from Europe and other sources magnifying the supply side issues. I would add a fourth
: CHOOSING formula feeding when a mother is capable and able to breastfeed. This would dramatically reduce demand and the whole issue.
The solutions: 1) keep working hard to reduce contaminants in the production lines. 2) breastfeed, where possible, and avoid any need for formula in the first place - most important lever that is controllable. 3) Reduce regulatory red tape that prevents the sale of formula from outside of the US.
No judgement placed on those that choose to formula feed. Just hard truths about what is best, ideal and now magnified by the supply chain issues.