130,000 U.S. stores face shortages of baby formula as moms look for formula

  [Global Times Comprehensive Report] "The shortage of infant formula milk powder faced by 130,000 stores in the United States has worsened." According to a report by Bloomberg on the 27th, data from retail data tracking company Datasembly showed that as of May 21, milk powder in the United States was out of stock. The rate soared to 70%, up from 45% the previous week.

According to the report, more than two-thirds of states in the United States have a formula shortage rate of more than 70%.

California, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Montana, Louisiana, Arizona and Utah are even more than 80%.

The shortage rate in Utah soared to 89% from 49% the previous week.

In many cities the situation is even worse.

The shortage rate in Houston soared to 90% from 56% the previous week; San Francisco and Sacramento, which were at their lowest at 31% and 32% respectively, rose sharply to 87% and 88% last week.

  Ms. Chen, a Chinese living in Washington state, told reporters on the 28th that in February, the recall of milk powder by Abbott due to product safety issues triggered a chain reaction. Consumers rushed to buy formula milk powder from other brands, and brands such as Mead Johnson were also out of stock, which further led to "milk powder". shortage".

Ms. Chen said that the most serious shortage of local baby formula milk powder was in the past month. "The supermarket shelves are almost empty, and there is no stock online. Friends are 'hailing' milk powder through Europe and Australia and other places. Share the extra with each other to other mothers in need."

  On the 27th, the reporter visited a supermarket near Boston and found that the shelves in the baby formula area were still empty.

It can be seen from the signs posted on the shelves that from the end of February, supermarkets will limit the purchase of no more than 5 cans of formula milk per customer.

Front desk staff said the shelves in the infant formula section had been out of stock for months.

No one seems to know when the goods will come in.

The staff suggested that people who are in urgent need of milk powder can buy Canadian sources online.

  The reporter saw anxious people in the community group from time to time begging for baby milk powder.

"A friend of mine had to change his son's nutritional supply because he couldn't buy Mead Johnson's NeuPro Gentlease formula. If anyone has such a formula, I'd be willing to get it..." Someone commented: "I know a lot. Mothers are sharing milk powder together, and some are donating extra breast milk...I can't imagine the panic they are going through." Organizations that usually provide free food to people in need have been calling for donations of formula milk powder.

Others suggest that it can be purchased from Canada.

However, people in the community believe that the situation is improving.

An organizer of a local charity told reporters that the supply of milk powder is better than three weeks ago.

  Faced with the shortage of infant milk powder, the U.S. government on May 18 activated emergency powers through the National Defense Production Act to accelerate the production of milk powder.

To speed up transportation, Biden ordered the use of government planes to import ingredients and formula.

According to the "Washington Post" report on the 27th, that afternoon, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that Bubs, an Australian goat milk powder company, will send 27.5 million bottles of various infant formula.

Some of them are in stock for immediate shipment, and others will be produced in the coming weeks and months.

  As some infant formula makers rush to address a shortage in the U.S. market, they are facing another major hurdle: a key ingredient mainly sourced from Ukraine.

The "Wall Street Journal" said on the 28th that many formula milk powder manufacturers use sunflower oil to add key fats to their products.

Ukraine has been the top exporter of the oil, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But shipments of sunflower oil have been small since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.