This California City Has the Worst Baby Formula Shortage in the Nation

Sacramento is tied with Atlanta, Georgia as the city most heavily impacted by the national shortage of baby formula. Datasembly reported that Sacramento had a 94.6% out-of-stock rate for the week ending May 28. Among California metros, Los Angeles had the second-worst rate (90.9%).

The nation’s out-of-stock rate climbed to 74% for the same time period, with Georgia experiencing the worst rate among all 50 states. 

Experts say the shortage was caused by a perfect storm of corporate greed, monopolized distribution, government bureaucracy, and inspection lapses during the pandemic. The trigger was the FDA closure of Abbot Labs’ formula plant in Sturgis following a salmonella outbreak. Abbot is the largest formula producer in the U.S.

The Biden administration has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up production. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that prohibits formula price gouging. The Abbott company has restarted production at the Sturgis facility and expects to begin releasing new products next week.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it is investigating the actions of the FDA. Records reviewed by the Associated Press reveal the agency did not inspect the three biggest manufacturers for up to 2 ½ years.