As the nation faces a dire crisis following the closure of one of the country’s largest producers of baby formula, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Congressman Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) are demanding answers and a full briefing from the administration on the action they are taking to ensure such a disaster won’t happen again.
In a letter to President Biden, the Iowa lawmakers called the situation “a matter of life and death for our most vulnerable” and also raised serious concerns about reports that the administration is prioritizing illegal immigrants along the southern border to receive formula over families in our local communities.
In a press conference today, Ernst described a text she received from an Iowa family about their struggle to obtain baby formula:
In Ernst’s and Feenstra’s letter to President Biden, the Iowa lawmakers write, “Parents across this country are scared. It is not a guarantee that they will find the formula they need to feed their babies. Even if they can find this precious resource, it is often rationed in quantities that are wholly insufficient to meet their needs. Now is the time for action, and we request that your administration immediately provide a briefing to our offices on the action you will take to ensure that the supply chain around baby formula in the United States is more resilient in the future.”
“This is a matter of life or death for our most vulnerable,” they go on to say.
Earlier this year, President Biden’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shut down an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan—one of the nation’s largest producers of baby formula. While the administration announced a consent decree reached between the FDA and Abbott, the facility is still months away from production while American families scramble to find baby formula on shelves across the country.
Data show that Iowa families are being disproportionately impacted by the formula shortages. According to the Des Moines Register, Iowa is one of six states with supply chain shortages higher than 50 percent and the Des Moines metro area has the fourth highest supply shortage in the entire country.