LANSING, MI - On May 13, Gov. Whitmer released a press release on how she is currently addressing the nationwide baby formula shortage. The shortage started when Abbott Laboratories; a leading healthcare company voluntarily recalled multiple popular baby formula brands due to contamination. Since there are few other competitors and supply chains in this industry. According to npr.org, when Abbott closed down the largest manufacturer it had in Michigan, the problem worsened.
"We believe our voluntary recall was the right thing to do. We will not take risks when it comes to the health of children," CEO Robert Ford. "As a result, the shelves of many local grocery stores have been left quite barren."
To combat this growing issue, Gov Whitmer brought together the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Women, Infants, and Children Program, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
A few plans of action include Gov. Whitmer's approach to “lower costs and put more money into people's pockets.”
Whitmer said, “We’ve sent out $400 auto refund checks per vehicle to every Michigan driver and I proposed tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit in my budget to deliver a $3,000 tax refund for over 730,000 Michiganders, directly benefiting half the kids in Michigan.”
Price gouging can also become an issue due to the limited number of products available now. So as a result, “The Department of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Team is committed to identifying and investigating any instances of price gouging related to the shortage.”
Another plan of action taken by the Women, Infants, and Children Program, “In response to the Abbott recall, Michigan has temporarily expanded access to alternate formula options that qualify for WIC assistance, to ensure families can use their benefits on formulas readily available.”
One of the 'dos and dont's' provided by Michigan.gov includes switching your formula and consulting with your doctor. However, the MDHHS wants to remind people that watering down formula to last longer is an unsafe practice.