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FDA: ‘Right to be concerned’ over slow response to baby formula shortage

Radio host Tammy Bruce says when there’s accountability, there’s ‘more of an effort to make things go well’ on ‘Fox Business Tonight.’ 

The out-of-stock rate for baby formula continues to rise as companies and the federal government work to get the critical product in the hands of parents across the nation. 

The out-of-stock rate rose to 73.58% nationwide for the week ending May 29, according to recent data from Datasembly. 

That's up from the 70% out-of-stock rate reported the week before that. In April, baby formula shortages hit 30% before jumping to 40% at the end of the month, according to Datasembly. 

By mid-May, the out-of-stock rate for baby formula stood at 45% 

BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE: OUT-OF-STOCK RATES SURGE TO 70%

A “due to limited supplies sign” is shown on the baby formula shelf at a grocery store May 10, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer / AP Newsroom)

Recently, the federal government started importing foreign supplies to help desperate parents and even used the Defense Production Act to speed up domestic production of infant formula. 

Those steps began in mid-May. Parents had already been struggling since early February when Abbott Nutrition's Michigan plant was shut down over contamination issues and the company issued a massive recall of its formula. 

BABY FORMULA CRISIS: PRODUCTS FROM CLOSED PLANT WON'T HIT SHELVES UNTIL AT LEAST MID-JULY, ABBOTT SAYS

The move exacerbated the industry-wide shortage, and retailers were forced to place purchase limits on the product as shelves were emptying.  

Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay / AP Newsroom)

The White House announced that the third and fourth round of formula shipments from overseas would begin next week from producer Kendamil in Britain and from Bubs Australia.

ABBOTT TO REOPEN MICHIGAN FACILITY ON JUNE 4, PRIORITIZE PRODUCTION OF SPECIALTY FORMULA

Abbott, one of only four companies that produce roughly 90% of U.S. formula, has come under intense scrutiny for exacerbating the shortage. It expects to reopen its plant June 4. 

However, the company previously noted it would take at least another six to eight weeks before product from the plant will be made available. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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