LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Following the baby formula shortage that has been getting worse, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced an action plan to help curb the formula shortage.
Various government departments came together to deride the plan, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), including the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Today I spoke with Abbott leadership and offered support to help get production back on track. I will do everything I can as governor to boost baby formula production, getting it from factories to store shelves and into people’s homes. I know how anxious parents must feel right now, and it’s crucial that they have confidence that a product is safe for their babies. I urge federal leaders to use every tool at their disposal to boost formula production. We’re tackling the shortage head-on in Michigan and working with our federal and private sector partners to fix supply logistics and ensure every baby has what they need.”Governor Gretchen Whitmer
The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team is planning to investigate any instances of price gouging related to the shortage.
“While we have not seen a significant influx of complaints thus far, my team will remain vigilant in ensuring this shortage isn’t compounded by illegal business practices that will only inflict additional harm on parents of infants right now,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “If you suspect instances of price gouging, please report it to our office so we can take appropriate action.”
MDHHS released new guidance to help parents navigate the dos and don’ts as supply chain challenges and recalls resulted in limited supply across the nation.
DOS: The department recommends that families do consider trying another brand of formula as most regular baby formulas are enough alike that most healthy babies can switch without problems. It is important that babies be fed an appropriate substitute if their usual formula is not available. All standard infant formulas for healthy babies meet the same FDA high standards for quality and nutrition.
DON’TS: The department recommends that families don’t feed their babies homemade formula, or ‘watered down’ formulas to stretch them out, as these are unsafe practices.
Additionally, it is encouraged to contact your child’s healthcare provider if you are unable to access the formula your child needs.
In response to the Abbott recall, Michigan has temporarily expanded access to alternate formula options that qualify for WIC assistance.
According to MDHHS, approximately 85% of formula-fed WIC participants are affected by the shortage.