Cicilline Votes to Pass Legislation to Address Baby Formula Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) today voted to pass two pieces of legislation that will address the current baby formula shortage in the United States and help prevent this crisis from ever reoccurring.

“The current baby formula shortage is completely unacceptable. This crippling shortage has left parents and grandparents traveling from store to store, in search of a basic need that their children need to survive. With more than 40 percent of the most popular baby formula products out of stock, parents of infants with allergies are particularly desperate to find the specialty formulas their children need. Even when they are lucky enough to find those products, prices are up nearly 20 percent from what they were a year ago. This is a crisis that we need to address immediately, and with every resource at our disposal,” said Congressman Cicilline.

The package passed today includes H.R. 7790, the infant formula supplemental funding bill, and the Access to Baby Formula Act. The supplemental funding bill provides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with urgently needed resources to address the shortage, increase the number of FDA inspection staff, provide resources for personnel working on formula issues, help stop fraudulent baby formula from entering the marketplace, and improve data collection. The Access to Baby Formula Act addresses the disproportionate toll the formula shortage has taken on vulnerable women and children who are enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and use these benefits to purchase formula. The bill provides new flexibility so that these enrollees can continuing purchasing safe baby formula with their WIC benefits, including the supply chain disruption we are currently experiencing.

Congressman Cicilline yesterday convened an Antitrust Subcommittee hearing on “Reviving Competition, Part 6: Rebuilding America’s Economic Leadership and Combatting Corporate Profiteering” which addressed the consolidation of the baby formula industry that has left two companies controlling 80 percent of baby formula production in the United States. You can watch the Congressman’s opening statement here.
 

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