05.16.22

Senator Burr Demands Accountability from FDA on Infant Formula Crisis

Burr: “FDA’s inaction and complacency has imperiled the food supply for our youngest and most vulnerable Americans”

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf demanding accountability from the FDA on its inaction to secure the nation’s infant formula supply chain, following dire shortages across the country.

In his letter, Senator Burr criticized FDA for its inability to mitigate the consequences of infant formula supply shortages, particularly as 40 percent of the nation’s baby formula is out of stock.

“While FDA finally acted to become more engaged with infant formula manufacturers to better understand capacity constraints on formula production and expedited its review processes for these products, these actions are too little, too late,” wrote Senator Burr. “Today’s news about the possible reopening of a plant in Michigan is welcome, but that may take at least two months for any new product to be delivered. Parents across the country are staring at empty shelves and anxiously awaiting the delivery of critical food for their infants, toddlers, and children with serious metabolic conditions.

“This didn’t happen overnight,” continued Senator Burr. “Since 2020, formula supplies have been running low, and the pause in production from one of the four major formula manufacturers have only worsened such supply challenges, making critical formula scarce.

“I am particularly concerned to learn that FDA had knowledge about supply challenges, yet did not take decisive action to prevent shortages of this critical food source,” concluded Senator Burr. “While families scramble to find infant formula, the FDA must be held to account for its role in this crisis.”

To read the full letter, click here.