Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released a statement in response to news that Abbott Nutrition had initiated recalls on its Similac formula manufactured at a facility in Columbus, OH.
"We face a serious problem in this country. How is it that one company, that controls 43 percent of the market, is able to have several product recalls on infant formula within the same year? Infant formula should be the safest product on the market, and facilities that manufacture it should meet the highest standards of safety.
"And, again, Abbott skirts responsibility and downplays the situation by saying, "This recall equates to less than one day's worth of the total number of ounces of infant formula fed in the U.S. and is not expected to impact the overall U.S. infant formula supply.' Let me be clear--every feeding and every day is worth a lot to families who are trying to feed their babies with safe formula.
"Abbott has repeatedly failed to meet even the most basic food safety standards, resulting in product recall after product recall of a life sustaining product that families desperately need. This must change. As I have said before, I will be introducing legislation before the end of the year that supports small, domestic businesses that manufacture infant formula so they can compete with giants like Abbott.
"Here's the bottom line -- we cannot choose between safety and supply. I am fighting like hell to get our shelves restocked with infant formula, but it must be safe, and it must be reliable. I will not stand for lax safety practices that lead to the selling of a contaminated product, recalls, and subsequent shortages. Enough is enough."