Shortage of infant formula: PSAKI says use of Defense Production Act ‘on the table’, WH response not delayed

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The White House is discussing whether to use the Defense Production Act to address the baby formula shortage, press secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed.

But asked for a timeline to resolve the national shortage, PSAki said the White House could not offer a specific time frame.

During his final White House press conference, PSAKI answered a series of questions about current US supply chain issues. Most notably, the country hit a critical need for more baby formula after a recall wiped out huge amounts of stock in US stores.

White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki speaks during her final daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, May 13, 2022.

“It’s a really important question, but it’s hard for us to answer from here,” Psaki said. She said no decision has been made on the Defense Production Act, a law under which the government can compel a private company to produce a particular product.


PSAKI said the shortages felt across the country are regional issues that will require different solutions.

“Sometimes the issue at play here is that larger retailers have a more streamlined process for stocking shelves than smaller retailers,” Psaki explained. “A lot of people go to stores in their community to buy formula and there may be a bit of a backlog in those shelves being stocked.”

Shortage of infant formula: PSAKI says use of Defense Production Act 'on the table', WH response not delayed

The press secretary then described the measures taken by the federal government to alleviate short-term shortages. The White House is offering discounts to states to process their stock regionally, and WIC recipients will enjoy greater freedom of formula choice for their children.

“So we’re not only working to resolve — we’ve been working to resolve for months — but we’re working to ensure there’s a bigger supply, a consistent supply on the shelves for as long as possible,” Psaki said.

the White House On Thursday, he said he had taken steps to counter the shortage, “including working with other infant formula makers to increase production, accelerating the import of infant formula from overseas and calling retailers online and in-store to set purchase limits to prevent the possibility of hoarding.”

The Biden administration also said Thursday it would take additional steps, including cutting red tape, asking state attorneys general to crack down on price gouging and increasing imports further.


Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Thursday sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking for nationwide transparency formula milk shortage.

“As you know, the FDA recently acknowledged the shortage, caused by its warning and recall,” Ladapo wrote to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, referring to the February recall of infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition, which manufacture the majority of the preparations consumed in the United States

Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.


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