Wicker, Colleagues Combat Baby Formula Shortage

Senators Introduce FORMULA Act to Open Up New Supply Lines

May 19, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss. joined Senators Mike Lee, R-Utah, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Bill Cassidy, M.D., R-La. in introducing the Fixing Our Regulatory Mayhem Upsetting Little Americans (FORMULA) Act. This legislation is aimed at combating domestic baby formula shortages and bolstering the supply chain to help American families feed their babies.

“Parents are struggling to feed their newborns because baby formula has disappeared from the shelves,” Wicker said. “Congress needs to act quickly to address this problem. I am pleased to cosponsor legislation that would provide relief and allow more product to reach the market.”

“American babies are going hungry and the federal government is standing in the way. Current policies, tariffs, quotas, bans, and regulations are preventing mothers and fathers from being able to make the best choices to feed their babies. My FORMULA Act will give these families relief during this unprecedented shortage. Congress needs to pass this bill immediately to protect American babies from going hungry,” Lee, the lead sponsor of the measure, said.

The FORMULA Act would target supply chain disruption by temporarily waiving trade barriers like tariffs and quotas on importation that reduce the supply and increase the price of available foreign-made formula. The bill would also waive regulations that prevent the importation of safe baby formula from abroad. This would allow American families to access safe and plentiful formula manufactured in Europe and elsewhere during the current shortage. The bill would also allow recipients of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to use vouchers to purchase formula from any producer rather than be limited to the brand or product listed on specific vouchers, which may be unavailable.

The act was introduced following baby formula shortages across the country. Supply chain challenges have caused the out-of-stock rate for formula to triple from six months ago. The shortages come in the immediate aftermath of a recall and temporary closure of a major American formula factory, but highlight systemic weaknesses in this vital supply chain.