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Formula shortage hits home

Ally Brown

Herald Staff Writer

Reminiscent of the toilet paper shortage, photos of empty shelves are taking the Internet by storm, but this time infant formula is the culprit.

Supply issues and shortages have been major since the beginning of COVID-19 with lockdowns, import restrictions and panic-buying fueling the fire. According to Datasembly, in September 2021 infant formula out-of-stock percentage reached it’s peak at 16%. By April 2022 the percentage exceeded 40% and is estimated to be higher in May.

The sudden decrease comes from the closure of a production plant in Sturgis, Michigan owned by Abbott Laboratories, after four babies who had consumed their formula developed bacterial infections. Abbott is one of four main formula production companies in the U.S. and the Michigan plant produced a large quantity. President Joe Biden announced May 18 Operation Fly Formula, allowing a commercial aircraft overseas to retrieve FDA-approved formula. Over 70,000 pounds was delivered May 21 and another 100,000 pounds May 25.

The Client Services Director Peggy Swyrydenko at Embrace Clinic & Care Center downtown spoke to the Herald about the shortage. An increase in current and new clients searching for formula have reached out to the clinic. Although they do accept donations, formula donations are rare, but remain the most requested item. The best advice Swyrydenko gives is, “Use the comparable brand after you clear it with your doctor, because unless the child has medical needs or allergies, the comparable brands are just as good.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends speaking with your pediatrician if you are unable to find formula. They do not recommend diluting formula with water or making your own. To find more information, visit

Enfamil Gentlease Infant F - Online Groceries | Star Market

1 Comment

  1. Joke Biden on June 7, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    Sorry, Jack. 40-billion to Ukraine.

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