When The Baby Formula Shortage Might Finally End, According To The FDA Commissioner

Summer is just around the corner, and while many families are busy making fun and joyful plans for beach days and pool parties, others have been trapped in a stressful nightmare thanks to the 2022 baby formula shortage that's been affecting families nationwide. Some stores had been seeing depleted formula stock due to supply chain issues caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in early 2022, but a baby formula recall in February has since pushed the nation's formula supply to a breaking point.

The baby formula recall was initiated because several infants fell ill, and two even died, from cronobacter sakazakii bacterial infections. They had all consumed formula from the same manufacturing plant, and when the FDA inspected the plant, it found several troubling sanitary issues there, including bacterial contamination and more (via CNBC). The shortage caused by the recall and the plant's subsequent shutdown has been especially distressing for families with babies who have specialized nutritional needs. As the chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on nutrition told The Washington Post, "This is a crisis." Thankfully, there might be light at the end of the tunnel. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf has said that the nation's formula supply could be back to normal as soon as July.

These changes will help get baby formula back on store shelves

There are a few different reasons why the formula supply might finally even out. For one, Abbott, the baby formula manufacturing plant that was shut down and initiated the recall, will be opening back up on June 4, reports CNBC. It will be sending out the first shipment of EleCare formula on June 20. Another boost to the nation's formula supply is coming thanks to loosened import restrictions on formula and "Operation Fly Formula," which is an initiative to airlift formula from Europe to the United States. Per CNN, 60 tons of formula have been brought into the country so far, and more is on the way.

Meanwhile, cities, states, and charitable organizations are stepping in to bridge the gap until formula supplies are replenished and stabilized. The Los Angeles Times reports that the city of Los Angeles recently purchased more than $750,000 worth of baby formula, or about 12,000 cans, to distribute to families in need. Finally, when the Abbott formula plant does reopen, it plans on increasing its manufacturing capacity by 40%, which will help rebuild the nation's formula supply faster and potentially end the shortages for good.