Kuster presses Biden officials and infant formula producers about nationwide shortages, calls for immediate action to address shortfalls
CONCORD – During an Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) questioned officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and major infant formula manufacturers about the nation’s formula shortage, steps that have been taken to increase supply, and what further action is necessary to ensure families’ access to safe formula across the country.
During the hearing entitled, “Formula Safety and Supply: Protecting the Health of America’s Babies,” the Subcommittee heard from the FDA as well as manufacturers that collectively hold nearly 95 percent of the domestic market for infant formula, including:
PANEL I – FDA Officials
Robert M. Califf, M.D., Commissioner, FDA
Frank Yiannas, M.P.H., Deputy Commissioner, Food Policy and Response, FDA
Susan Mayne, Ph.D., Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA
PANEL II – Infant Formula Manufacturers
Christopher J. Calamari, President, U.S. and Canada Nutrition, Senior Vice President, Abbott
Scott Fitz, Vice President, Technical and Production, Gerber Products Company
Robert Cleveland, Senior Vice President, Nutrition, North America and Europe, Reckitt
“Granite Staters and families across this country are scrambling to find infant formula. They are driving miles across state lines, forming local donation pools, and even falling victim to scams and counterfeit products out of desperation,” said Rep. Kuster. “While Abbott bears responsibility for why its product recalls were necessary at all, it was ultimately the safe thing to do to ensure the health of infants. However, it is going to take industry-wide dedication to increase production so that retailers can keep their shelves stocked.”
“I was glad to see the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and President Biden take crucial steps — including invoking the Defense Production Act — to address this shortage, but we must do more. I am committed to working with my colleagues to help ensure formula makes it back onto the shelves as safely and quickly as possible and prevent future shortages,” Rep. Kuster continued. “Thank you to the Food and Drug Administration officials and leaders from our nation’s largest formula producers for answering our questions today as we get to the bottom of these dangerous infant formula shortages and ensure they don’t happen again.”
Kuster has taken a number of steps to help increase infant formula supply and ensure Granite Staters are able to feed their children, including sending a letter with her colleagues to the Biden administration urging continued action to address the infant formula shortage. Rep. Kuster called on the administration to invoke the Defense Production Act, which President Biden did last week.