COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has announced upcoming changes to USDA provisions meant to combat the ongoing infant formula shortage.
On March 1, nearly all Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) formula alternatives introduced in 2022 will come to an end. This means if you’re a WIC parent you will not be able to substitute formulas for others. The remaining substitutes will expire later in the year.
Since October 2022, baby formula has been in short supply nationwide since Abbott’s recall and the saga is not over. For one Columbus mother, she traveled across the interstate looking for formula for her newborn son.
“In December, I found one can and it was the last can and that was last time I found it in stores,” said Abby Cotter. “Luckily, we were gifted nine cans from somebody in the clumps formula finders, which was very helpful to us. Very, very helpful. And other than that, I mean, we haven’t been able to find it anywhere.”
“I have made some observations that there is still a very active online market for breast milk,” said Dr. Sarah Keim of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “And I think some of it is being driven by the formula shortage and also the lack of support, and education, women have access to successfully breastfeed and meet their feeding goals.”
The full list of affected brands can be found by clicking here.
“The deadlines for formula substitutions are federally mandated timeframes that all WIC programs nationally must follow,” the Ohio Department of Health said in a statement. “Those timeframes were established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Ohio Department of Health is taking advantage of the maximum flexibilities until the end dates.”