(RightIsRight.co) – President Joe Biden’s administration is still failing to resolve the baby-formula shortage even though it has been almost a year since the “empty shelves” crisis began to shape, according to newly collected federal government data.
Nearly one-third of all US families with infants needing formula is still struggling with the shortage, the latest Household Pulse Survey of the US Census Bureau has found, as cited by The National Review.
The poll conducted among 51,000 households nationwide from September 14-26 asked families with infants whether they had been affected by the shortage and how they had been coping with it, i.e., how they have been procuring formula.
Based on the poll results, the Census Bureau concluded that 1.3 million American families with infants who presently needed formula were struggling to obtain it. That is out of a total of 4.1 million households whose babies require formula.
With the baby-formula shortage peaking over the summer, about half of the 7 million US households with babies under one have been affected by the crisis.
US households have resorted to varying coping mechanisms due to the unprecedented shortage.
Thus, nearly 300,000 families have admitted to being forced to water down formula or to produce some of their own to feed their babies.
Both of those are practices “strongly discouraged” by pediatricians and nutritionists.
According to the Census Bureau’s findings, the most common way American families have been trying to deal with the shortage has been by switching to different baby-formula brands and stores.
Other coping mechanisms include resorting to buying baby formula online and increasing breastfeeding.
Both could be problematic since online scammers have plagued the former option while the latter is unavailable to all since not all women can increase breastfeeding.
“The problem with baby formula is the government,” the report stated, pointing out that the federal government presently buys over half of all baby formula in the United States through its nutritional program for “Women, Infants, and Children” (WIC).
The government program has caused consolidation of the baby-formula industry by relying on a limited number of brands.
The US government has thus practically killed off the regular price-sensitive, supply-and-demand market mechanisms that would have prevented a shortage.
The report pointed out that the USDA, which oversees the WIC program, has recognized the problem with the large-scale market intervention by the US government.
According to the Census Bureau survey, even with the WIC program, poorer families – making under $75,000 per year, have still been hit harder by the baby-formula crisis than richer ones.
— National Review (@NRO) October 19, 2022