Under Pressure to Act, White House Says It’ll Address Formula Shortage

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said on Thursday that it was working to address a worsening nationwide shortage of infant formula, announcing efforts to speed manufacturing and increase imports as pressure mounted to respond to a crisis that has desperate parents scouring empty store aisles to feed their children.

Officials outlined the plan after President Biden met with retailers and manufacturers, including Walmart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber, about their efforts to increase production. They also discussed steps the federal government could take to help stock bare shelves, particularly in rural areas, according to senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail the conversation.

After the meeting, the White House announced a series of modest moves to increase supply, including pushing states to waive packaging regulations to allow manufacturers to get formula on store shelves more quickly. The administration is also instructing the Federal Trade Commission and state officials to crack down on price gouging and calling on companies to institute buying limits, the officials said.

And they said that in the coming days, the Food and Drug Administration would announce that the United States would begin importing more formula. They listed Mexico, Chile, Ireland and the Netherlands as the key sources of such imports.

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