Letter to Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States - Rep. Sherrill Leads Bipartisan Group of Moms in Congress in Call for the President to Take Actions to Immediately Expand Access to Infant Formula


Dear President Biden,

As members of Congress who are mothers, we know that formula is central to the health and well-being of babies. We can only imagine the fear many of our parents are facing when they go to purchase baby formula, only to find the shelves empty. With the ongoing shortage of infant formula currently affecting millions of families, we urge you to take all necessary steps as quickly as possible to bring new supply onto the market.

Mothers in our districts are terrified that they cannot access the formula they need to feed their infants. As mothers, we know that this is not just a matter of nutrition or convenience; for many infants who have recently been weaned or cannot breastfeed, formula is the only thing their bodies will allow them to eat. This is an untenable and unacceptable situation, and it must be rectified immediately.

According to a recent analysis by Datasembly, 43% of baby formula products were out of stock as of early May, with some states facing even greater shortages of over 50%. Even when supplies are in stock, prices for formula have risen dramatically in recent weeks, making it even less affordable for families at a time when their budgets are already stretched thin. No mother should ever have to face the helpless feeling that they cannot properly care for the basic needs of their child. Yet tragically, this is the precise situation that many of our constituents are now in.

We are grateful for your recent work with formula manufacturers to help restart production in closed factories within weeks, but remain concerned that this new supply of formula will still take six-to-eight weeks to reach shelves nationwide. Mothers with hungry infants to feed literally have hours, not days or months; their infants need this food now. We are also deeply concerned about the fragility of the infant formula supply chain that could allow such a dramatic shortage to occur without backup sources of supply available, and the potential for a similar crisis to emerge in the future.

To this end, we urge you to take all necessary actions to immediately expand production of infant formula to meet demand and eliminate these shortages. In addition, we also urge you to implement short-term solutions to improve formula supply immediately. Finally, we ask that the Administration conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation to determine how the formula supply chain became so susceptible to the nationwide breakdown that we are seeing today and to then develop appropriate reforms to improve the resilience of this market so that this crisis never happens again.

Thank you for your attention regarding this crucial issue for our families, children, and communities as a whole. As mothers, we have unique insights into what parents are experiencing right now as they desperately search for nutrition to sustain their infants. We stand ready to work with you now and moving forward to find solutions to this crisis.