Biden administration, FDA pressed on policies contributing to baby formula crisis

by Will Tubbs

Chris Lieberman, FISM News


Amidst a nation-wide baby formula shortage, the Biden administration is coming under fire for decisions that may have exacerbated the situation, including claims that formula is being supplied to a processing facility for illegal immigrants on the southern border as shelves across America remain empty.

Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) tweeted out photos comparing fully-stocked shelves of baby formula which she alleges come from the Ursula Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, and bare shelves from a store in her own district. In a video posted to Facebook, Cammack claims that the pictures were sent to her by a border patrol agent working at the facility. The authenticity of the photos has not yet been verified.


“They are sending pallets, pallets of baby formula to the border,” Cammack said in the video. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula.” Cammack called the incident, “Another example of the ‘America last’ agenda that the Biden administration continues to perpetuate.”

Republicans were quick to pounce on the report.

“While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the Biden Administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and the National Border Patrol Council in a joint statement. “This is yet another one in a long line of reckless, out-of-touch priorities from the Biden Administration when it comes to securing our border and protecting Americans. Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first – not one who gives critical supplies to illegal immigrants before the very people he took an oath to serve.”

Cammack’s video comes the same day that more than 100 GOP congressmen wrote a letter to President Biden and FDA Commissioner Robert Califf urging them to do more to address the formula shortage that has seen the national out-of-stock rate hit 40%. “This issue is a matter of life and death,” the letter read, “and it is time this administration treats it with the appropriate urgency it deserves.”

When pressed on the issue, incoming White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “Ensuring that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country is a top priority to the White House and this administration.” She later added, “This is an urgent issue that the FDA, as you all know, and the White House is working 24/7 to address.”

One of the contributing factors to the shortage that Republicans have pressed the president on is the temporary closure of the largest formula factory in the country, an Abbott Laboratories’ plant in Sturgis, Mich. The FDA forced the plant to halt production in February after reports of babies contracting bacterial infections from their products. An FDA investigation concluded that it was unlikely that the formula produced at the factory was responsible for the infections, which caused the death of two children, but the FDA did find several food safety violations, as well as five strains of Cronobacter, a bacteria that can cause blood infections and meningitis. 

Critics such as Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) have slammed the FDA for keeping the plant closed amidst the current shortage. The company announced Wednesday that it hopes to resume operations within 2 weeks. However, it will take an additional 6-8 weeks for the products to reach consumers.

In response to the ongoing crisis, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced Wednesday that it will hold hearings on May 25 to address the issue. Details, including who will be called to the hearings, have not yet been announced.