Among soaring gas prices, inflation, and food shortages, it appears Americans are also starting to struggle when it comes to feeding their infants. Three months ago, the largest baby formula supplier in the United States, Abbott Laboratories, had their plant in Michigan shutdown after the facility was being blamed for bacteria spreading to two infants, ultimately leading to their deaths.
But now, after an FDA investigation revealed the formula produced at the plant was not the source, the facility remains closed even after a massive product recall. With many families concerned about the growing shortage of formula, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sought to calm parents as the out-of-stock rate has rocketed to 31%. In the first half of 2021, that number was only eight percent.
Speaking to the press, as can be seen in the video below, Psaki suggested that the FDA was working around the clock to help stop the shortage. “The FDA issued a recall to make sure that they’re meeting their obligation to protect the health of Americans – including babies who, of course, were receiving or taking this formula – and ensure safe products are available. That’s their job. Ensuring the availability is also a priority for the FDA and they’re working around the clock to address any possible shortage.”
The Press Secretary added, “The FDA, it is not just their responsibility in their view to ensure that we’re meeting our obligations to protect Americans, it is also their obligation to take steps to make sure supply can be met when they take these steps.”
While the narrative might be the safety and well-being of the children, another video presented a different theory that included tech billionaire Bill Gates and a company he has invested in, BIOMILQ. As the name sounds, BIOMILQ is a company based out of North Carolina that aims to bring a high-nutrition alternative to breast milk that is dairy-free. Take a look.
According to the World Health Organization, one in three infants only receives the recommended amount of breast milk for a baby to be healthy. To make up for it, many parents will substitute baby formula. It should be noted that at the end of 2021, the baby formula industry was worth a staggering $52 billion.
As for Gates, he was able to get into the industry thanks to his investment firm raising $3.5 million for BIOMILQ.
With parents noticing the shortage, the FDA released the following statement about the allegations brought against them pertaining to Abbott: “The FDA has not delayed the release of any specialty and metabolic infant formula products and the agency strongly disagrees with this characterization of events. The agency has been working with Abbott since the Feb. 17 recall on ways to resume production. These are complex discussions, but from the beginning the agency has been committed to making these infant formula products, including specialty and metabolic products, available again as quickly as possible.”