COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The FDA released a national strategy Tuesday for addressing the powdered baby formula shortage.
The most recent recall is of Gerber Good Start SoothPro powdered infant formula for the potential presence of Cronobacter sakazakii — the same bacteria that caused the shutdown of an Abbott baby formula factory in Michigan.
The FDA said it wants to “diversify” the infant formula market so that never happens again. The agency’s plan includes ramping up the number of plant investigators and figuring out a way to forecast shortages, as well as making sure the industry doesn’t depend on a single manufacturer.
“It’s just been going on for so long and that’s a scary, it’s a scary thing,” said Maria Kindred, a Grove City, Ohio, mom who finds formula for other moms in her free time.
Caitlin Snelly, a mom from Columbus, said she’s called stores as far as Lancaster.
“I’ve tried everywhere, just trying to find it. And I know the kind that I am giving him, WIC isn’t going to cover after next month, so I have to figure out what I’m going to do after that,” Snelly said.
Snelly’s son Elias’ current formula — Enfamil NeuroPro — is one that will no longer be covered by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — or WIC — after April 30. Snelly will then have to go through trial and error to find another one that doesn’t give Elias a stomach ache.
The FDA’s full plan is available here.