McAllen, TX– U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released the following statement after President Joe Biden signed the Access to Baby Formula Act, legislation he helped introduced alongside a bipartisan group of senators:
“I appreciate President Biden quickly signing this critical, bipartisan bill into law that expands access to baby formula for vulnerable Kansas families. This administration must show this same level of urgency in explaining to the American public why the federal government missed warning signs of this baby formula shortage and why the Food and Drug Administration failed to expeditiously complete an investigation of Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan manufacturing facility. I look forward to an answer this Wednesday from the Biden Administration to the questions related to this issue contained in the May 18 letter I sent along with 21 of my Senate colleagues.”
Last week, Senator Marshall led 21 of his colleagues on a letter demanding answers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its inadequate investigation into Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan manufacturing facility and failure to mitigate the nationwide baby formula shortage. The senator is also seeking answers regarding when the White House was made aware of the dire situation and the steps available to limit the harmful impact on families and their newborns.
Senator Marshall, an OBGYN, also launched a webpage to help struggling Kansans with the baby formula shortage and understand safe infant feeding practices. You may click HERE to access the webpage.
Background on the Access to Baby Formula Act:
- Give USDA permanent authority to respond in the event of a product recall or supply chain disruptions and provide WIC flexibilities including:
- Allowing vendors to exchange or substitute authorized supplemental foods;
- Allowing flexibility so a doctor’s note is not needed to access another brand of formula;
- Flexibilities on the maximum monthly allowance for infant formula, and;
- Allowing for additional flexibilities so long as they do not substantially weaken the nutrition quality of the products.
- Give USDA permanent authority to respond to an emergency or disaster and provide WIC flexibilities as needed.
- Require baby formula rebate contracts to include a plan to respond to a baby formula recall, including how the manufacturer would prevent shortages of baby formula and require manufacturers to follow these new requirements in the event of a recall.
- Ensure that FDA and USDA have a Memorandum of Understanding so that FDA is increasing communication with USDA. It is key that USDA has access to information so that the Department is prepared to respond to potential shortages within the WIC program.