A group of Senate Democrats introduced a bill on Thursday to protect families who rely on infant formula and other essential sources of nutrition (ESN) from future shortages.
The Protect Infants from Formula Shortages Act would also safeguard the availability of these products by requiring manufacturers to notify the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of potential supply disruptions, giving the agency time to prevent or mitigate potential shortages.
The proposed bill will also direct formula manufacturers to develop risk management plans for the supply of their products and increase the FDA’s inspection authority.
The bill was introduced by Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-lll.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
In a statement, Casey said that congress has the “responsibility” to tackle this issue, adding that they must do everything to ensure that parents have formulas on the shelves,
“I am introducing the Protect Infants from Formula Shortages Act to avoid another massive disruption in availability of life-saving and life-sustaining formula and other products,” Casey said. “I will continue to push Abbott and the FDA to get the answers we need to make sure no family ever has to go through the fear and frustration parents are feeling now.”
A group of 32 Senate Democrats penned a letter on Wednesday requesting President Biden appoint a White House coordinator to address the ongoing issue.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) also wrote to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf on Thursday pressing his agency to provide information about its actions leading up to the shortage, and what it is doing to avoid another one.
The House passed two bills on Wednesday night aimed at addressing the issue.
And earlier in the day, Biden announced that he will invoke the Defense Production Act in an effort to address the nationwide baby formula shortage that has affected thousands of families.
“The infant formula shortage has created a crisis for the babies, children, and families who rely on this essential product,” Warren said in the statement about the bill introduced Thursday.
“I’m glad to join Senator Casey and my colleagues in introducing this legislation to prevent future shortages and help ensure American families never have to face a crisis like this again.”