Democrats Call For FTC Investigation Into Baby Formula Shortage

letter today to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calling for a thorough investigation into the baby formula shortage
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a letter today to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calling for a thorough investigation into the baby formula shortage, including an analysis of the consolidation of the baby formula market and harmful business practices. The letter also urges the FTC to work with other federal partners, such as the USDA, to evaluate federal programs that could improve supply chain resiliency, market sustainability, and product diversification.

“We are writing to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to work with relevant federal agencies to investigate the U.S. baby formula industry and study any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply and ultimately harming our constituents,” the members wrote.

“That is why we are requesting that the FTC use its 6(b) authority to conduct a wide-ranging study on the consolidation of the nutritional formula industry. The FTC should work with other federal partners to provide a report on the economic and health impacts of the formula industry’s fragile supply chain and manufacturing capabilities. It should also include an analysis of business and financial practices by these formula companies that could be contributing to declines in affordability, consumer choice, and product quality. Lastly, this report should have recommendations to Congress and regulators on improving federal programs and regulatory or enforcement actions to strengthen domestic supply, prevent future shortages, and stabilize formula prices for all American families.”

A former nutrition educator and mother of four, Rep. Omar has been a vocal advocate for childhood nutrition.

Last Congress, she successfully authored and passed the MEALS Act, to invest in universal school meals during the pandemic. Together with Sen. Tina Smith, she authored the End School Lunch Shaming Act and introduced the Universal School Meals Program Act with Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The letter was signed by Reps. Mark Takano, Raul Grijalva, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Earl Blumenauer, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, Andre Carson, Nikema Williams, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Axne, Grace Napolitano, Emanuel Cleaver, Madeleine Dean, Nydia Velazquez, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Tim Ryan, Joe Neguse, John Yarmuth, Anthony Gonzalez, and Jimmy Gomez.

You can read the full letter here.

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