On Friday, July 15th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill temporarily suspending tariffs on baby formula imports.
The bill passed 421-2 with broad bipartisan support. A similar bill passed through the U.S. Senate earlier this year. According to The Hill, previously enacted legislation had “permanently eased restrictions on the types of baby formula that people who are part of the federal low-income assistance program for women, children and infants can purchase.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, July 14th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) distributed materials for parents and caregivers addressing the national baby formula shortage and lingering concerns regarding recent formula imports. As of July 8th, the FDA had helped import 23.2 million cans, the equivalent of 524.1 million 8-ounce bottles, of safe and nutritious baby formula from other countries. FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. discussed the agency’s efforts to increase baby formula supplies across the country in a press release:
‘Parents and caregivers should have confidence that our collective work with federal partners, manufacturers and retailers means more infant formula that is safe and nutritious, including product coming in from other countries, is on shelves nationwide. The information and resources the agency is providing should help parents and caregivers find and understand how to use these safe, nutritious infant formula products that are comparable to those they’ve traditionally seen on store shelves,’ said Commissioner Califf. ‘Importantly, a combination of increased domestic production and infant formula being imported is steadily improving what parents and caregivers are seeing on the shelves. We will continue our around-the-clock efforts to make sure that parents and caregivers have access to safe and nutritious infant formula where and when they need it.’
Moreover, the FDA stressed that imported baby formula undergoes rigorous review:
In recent months, officials from across Maryland have acknowledged the national baby formula shortage’s impact on Marylanders and have sought to assist:
The availability of the new baby formula educational materials follows recent FDA announcements regarding its baby formula long-term plan and emergency measures to increase formula availability immediately.
Parents and caregivers can access the FDA’s educational materials here.