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Baby formula crisis: Over 33 percent shortage in Alaska

At a time when young families are praying the Alaska Legislature will give them their full statutory Permanent Fund dividend so they can buy groceries and gas, baby formula is now in short supply.

The situation appears to be worsening after over two months of shortages.

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Alaska now has a 33 percent deficiency in the supply of the needed food for infants who can’t take mother’s milk or who need specialized formula due to medical conditions, according to industry sources. Many parents use the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to help them afford the expensive, proper food for their growing children.

Now, the Biden Administration is under attack for sending pallets of baby formula to warehouses along the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal immigrants coming into the United States, while shelves are bare in American stores.

Rep. Kat Cammack, a Republican Congresswoman Kat Cammack of Florida, said on Wednesday that a border patrol officer in Texas told her he had taken pallets of formula to a warehouse to ensure immigrant babies would be able to eat.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, met with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, and other stores to learn about the struggles retailers are having getting formula for their shelves. The president may set sanctions on price gouging, and increase imports of formula, while the manufacturers try to resupply the nation. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was noncommittal about the progress being made to stave off a complete collapse of the baby formula supply chain.

In addition to a broken supply chain, there was a major recall of infant formula in March by the largest manufacturer of the product, Abbott Nutrition. Government officials said the supply issue was supposed to be resolved in March, but then the date was pushed back to April. Now, the stores are still seeing bare shelves.

It’s the kind of stress that young parents never forget — the inability to feed their babies because there is no food on the shelves and what is there is being marked up.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a statement today about the problem developing in Alaska:

“I’m concerned that our most vulnerable are now bearing the brunt of supply chain issues. As families now struggle to get the proper formula for their babies, please consult your doctor to ensure the little ones get the proper nutrients they need. Here is some information on the situation we have received from Alaska Health and Social Services: A Nationwide formula shortage affecting Alaska started in mid-February due to a voluntary recall by Abbott. Since then, the supply chain issues have impacted the matter further. Formula-fed infants are dependent on formula availability for their well-being, growth, and development. Unfortunately, there are no recommended substitutes for infant formula. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program has monitored the situation since the beginning of the recall. We have a contract with Abbott providing a substantial rebate for participation that is paid back to the state to offset the overall costs of the formula. It reduces the federal spending to the program. Approximately 95% of formula-fed WIC infants have been prescribed Abbott products.During the recall, we were allowed the flexibility for participants to purchase a wide variety of formulas. However, we are unclear how long we will be given this flexibility,” Dunleavy said.

According to Datasembly, a “provider of real-time product pricing, promotions, and assortment data for retailers,” baby formula out-of-stock rates continue to climb in May.

Datasembly’s analysis shows the stocks of formula were relatively stable for the first half of 2021, with out-of-stock fluctuation between 2-8%. The analysis shows that in April of 2022, baby formula shortages hit 30% and jumped to 40% at the end of April.

For the first week of May the nationwide out-of-stock situation for baby formula continues to climb.  The nation-wide OOS percentage is now at 43% for the week ending May 8th.

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas wrote to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf this week demanding answers about the dangerous shortage of infant formula and asking how the FDA is planning to combat the issue.

“Millions of babies rely on formula for their nutritional needs. Major retailers are limiting the amount of infant formula customers can purchase per visit, and families are being forced to pay higher prices and fees to obtain adequate food for their child. This places an additional burden on hardworking Americans already spending more on necessities due to inflation,” he wrote.

“I hope that the FDA understands the extraordinary strain this crisis has placed on parents and children alike and is doing everything in its power to re-open the Abbott plant,” Cotton wrote.

Text of the letter may be found here.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. There never was a real shortage. It was all shipped to Ukraine and the southern border.

  2. How about..instead of sending pallets of baby formula to the border…that illegal immigrant mothers breast feed their babies which they’ve been doing all along! American babies need the formula!

  3. This is all engineered people. Wake up! They are trying to starve you. They are trying to cull the population in their own words! Bill Gates is one of the front men. Klaus Scwab!!Look at what’s happening in the world. This is a globalist plan. This is not a supply chain issue ! I feel for the parents of these children.

    • AMEN, Agenda 201, Davos meeting, the UN, keep digging folks, FOLLOW the EVIL to their front door.

  4. These Democrats have screwed up our great country. Led by a severely, mentally impaired old man. The great Republican RESET is coming.

  5. Frankly, it serves us right for allowing foreign countries like China to control the goods and services in our marketplace.

    In other words, there is a lesson here….Perhaps its time to learn it.

  6. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” said Rahm Emmanuel.

    I note that the shortages are generally more severe in states that did not support the current President in the last election.

    Let’s go Brandon!

  7. We have a baby food company in Alaska who I am sure would like to take the lead for our own. Invest in Alaska mean investing in our own security. By-the-way, I have not financial connections with any Alaska baby food companies. I do have loyalty to our own Alaskans.

  8. But, but the supply chain is just fine overall, just ask the Government!!!


    And now it affecting the health of the little ones, the ones that the Left allows to live, that is…

    So what is it? Attempted infanticide by the Left to finish what they cannot do by abortion?

    Certainly seems so….population control at any cost, except those that maintain supposed power, and wish to exact said control over all others save themselves….

    May I suggest they offer themselves first as examples of depopulation?

  9. $40 Billion would feed a lot of hungry Americans, house a lot of homeless Americans and provide a lot of healthcare to so many Americans. But at least we don’t have to put up with those mean tweets anymore!

    • Plus, the $40 billion to Ukraine will further destabilize the situation and increase the risk of nuclear war. It is nauseating to see people advocate for others to fight and die in a proxy war that is probably not be in our national interest. If the current US national security team had any skill, they would be seeking a negotiated end to the killing and destruction.

  10. What’s wrong with milk, cow’s milk?
    It’s probably not an ideal substitute for human breast milk, but really, not even a consideration?

    • Cow’s milk is not good for infants. It can cause lots of stomach issues. It’s better than starving but should not be used till an infant turns 1. Human milk is ideal, far better than formula. But the push to remove moms from the home years ago has effects. It’s hard to breastfeed when you work, so you drop off the little one for someone else to raise who actually cares very little for them and head off to fulfill your life’s goals. Moms have been sold a bill of goods to give up on the greatest work they could ever do in order to chase a 9-5 so they can afford more junk from China. It’s a planned attack on family because destroying the family is how you destroy the country. Remove the dad, encourage/force the mom to work, have workers care for children, have government “teach” children their values…. In a generation you have destroyed the country from within. It’s extremely hard to destroy the moral fabric of society with intact and functional family units, yet it’s extremely difficult to have a moral society without them.

      Very few moms can’t breastfeed, formula feed babies should be rare. It’s just a symptom of our broken society.

  11. Is this a new pro-choice tactic? If they can’t kill the babies in utero then
    they will starve the babies taking away their formula. All while the supreme court justice continue the opinions and diliberations over roe.

  12. Abbott has proven that their plant in MI was not the source of contamination, see their statement on their website. Is FDA dragging their feet?

  13. Wouldn’t these supply chain issues fall under the purview of the Transportation Secretary? Where is he, nowadays? Is he still on maternity leave? Inquiring minds want to know!

  14. Total lack of action on the part of our elected officials. Murkowski and Sullivan do nothing while we lose our oil leases and now, we can’t feed our babies (another form of abortion I suppose). So sad.

  15. Isn’t it interesting that more than20food or fertilizer plants have been destroyed since Biden announced there would’ve shortages

  16. Just a suggestion…my youngest could only tolerate goat’s milk after she stopped breast feeding! And it’s already homogenized!!

  17. It needs to get a lot worse so the non educated can understand what’s happening and get out and vote for change.

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