(WASHINGTON) – Thursday, the head of the Food and Drug Administration met with members of Congress in the midst of a nationwide shortage of baby formula that has ricocheted across the country and struck at the core of the urgent need of American families to feed their children. This meeting took place as a large number of parents continue to search the grocery store shelves for baby formula.
Just hours after President Joe Biden announced new actions to ramp up the federal response to the crisis, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf testified in front of a House Appropriations subcommittee. The crisis was a problem that had been brewing for months prior to President Joe Biden’s announcement.
On Wednesday evening, President of U.S Joe Biden referenced the Defense Production Act in order to facilitate the acceleration of domestic production and to authorize the use of military planes to bring infant formula into to the United States from other countries. However, despite the actions taken by Vice President Biden, top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have stated that the US is still “weeks” away from having an adequate supply of baby formula available for purchase in stores.
All of this occurs at a time when the administration seems to be facing the mount demands from the American public, which is clamoring for relief from the formula shortage. The issue is being used as a political bludgeon by Republicans, and legislators on both sides of the aisle are questioning whether the Food and Drug Administration answered with adequate effectiveness and accountability.
Because of contamination issues at the factory, which had been linked to four infants being hospitalized with a rare but serious bacterial infection, two of whom ultimately died, the serious unavailability has been impacted by a nightmare scenario of conditions, including pandemic outages and the country’s largest formula company’s factory being closed down in February. The contamination conflicts at the production plant had been connected to the deaths of four of the infants who had been admitted to a hospital with the infection.
It was anticipated that Califf would be subjected to intense scrutiny about the question of whether or not the agency prioritised putting Abbott’s plant back online and regarding the question of why the FDA did not intervene sooner to minimise the impending supply shortages.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on 850WFTL.