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Bergman: ‘Aimlessly throwing money’ at formula shortage will do nothing

Rep. Jack Bergman urges thinking short and long term when addressing the crisis
(WLUC)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Rep. Jack Bergman said “aimlessly throwing money” at the infant formula shortage will not solve the issue, in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

Bergman voted against the $28 million emergency spending bill for the FDA on Wednesday night. The bill is expected to boost resources for the FDA. It passed in the House, but it is unclear whether the Senate will follow suit.

The bill did not address how the emergency funds will specifically be used, Bergman says. He did, however, vote in favor of the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022.

Rep. Bergman issued the following statement Thursday:

“The formula shortage crisis is a direct result of mismanagement and inaction by the current Administration. Despite clear warning signs of upcoming infant formula shortages over the past several months, the Biden Administration was slow to respond, and the FDA failed to take significant action before it was already too late. That’s why I demanded answers from the FDA on what they’re doing to address the shortage earlier this month – asking the Administration exactly what actions they were taking to ensure the still-closed Abbott Nutrition factory would be able to quickly and safely return to production.

“Aimlessly throwing money at the problem - without putting guardrails in place so the money is actually used effectively - will do nothing to solve the shortage of infant formula. This is especially true given the fact the FDA already received a $102 million budget increase just two months ago.

“H.R. 7790 provides no specificity as to how the additional $28 million will be used to address the formula shortage and it takes no concrete steps to address the problem; this three-page bill simply put $28 million into the FDA’s salaries and expenses account. This money doesn’t redeploy excess stocks of formula at federal agencies; it doesn’t cut down regulatory barriers that hinder the production of formula; and it doesn’t temporarily lift tariffs for foreign-produced formula.

“Instead of pushing a feel-good, more-of-the-same, spending bill, Congress must focus on reforms that will actually address the crisis – both in the short and long term.

“Additionally, last night I voted in favor of the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022, which provides flexibility so that low-income families, who account for about half of infant formula sales in the U.S, can continue purchasing safe infant formula during supply chain disruptions. Bureaucratic failures can only be solved by reform and oversight – not by giving bonus cash to the federal agency that helped cause the crisis in the first place. Congress can and must do better for American families.”

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