WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Department of Agriculture is urging states to adopt flexibilities to support families amid the nationwide formula shortage.
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s coordinated drive to end the shortage, the USDA wants states to use the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC.
The USDA says it has been working closely with the FDA since February to ensure program participants and stakeholders have the information they need to keep infants safe.
The department says it is also communication with Abbott, the manufacturer at the center of the recall.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called on the company Friday to redouble its efforts to ensure WIC participants have access to safe formula, especially those who rely on Abbott’s specialty formulas.
“We’re acutely aware that the ongoing recall has left many parents and caregivers concerned about access to formula and how they will feed their babies.
“Our team is committed to the health and safety of all Americans and is calling on states to act immediately to offer maximum flexibility, information and support to WIC participants.
“Meanwhile, USDA will continue the work we started in February, working not only within our department, but across the federal government, suppliers and partners to end this infant formula crisis as quickly as possible,” said Secretary Vilsack.
WIC supports moms and families of young children who buy formula. Typically, families can only purchase certain products with WIC benefits, but the USDA continues to work with states to relax those restrictions to help deal with the shortage.