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Formula woes: Northland mom talks about national formula shortage impact

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR 6) -- Most parents will do anything to care for their children, but lately, strolling through the grocery store aisles in search of baby formula is making that difficult.

“Feeling that I might not be able to feed my daughter tomorrow because I can’t find what I need on the shelf is honestly very emotional,” said Merita Bekteshi, who has an eight-month-old daughter, Sydney.

She’s been using formula for her daughter since she was five months old.

But for the last couple of months, she says it’s been a struggle.

“You walk in and you see the shelves, there’s hardly anything to choose from, they’re all bare,” Bekteshi said.

National supply chain issues and federal recalls of some of the most popular formula brands have caused massive shortages.

Health leaders are urging parents not to take matters into their own hands.

“We want to make sure that families do not get desperate and do things like start making formulas at home or buying formulas not properly vetted by the FDA,” said Dr. Steven Abrams, Former Chair of AAP Committee on Nutrition.

Experts said between February when some formulas were recalled, and April, 31% of baby formula products were out of stock. They said that rate is usually only 1% or 2%.

“We’re very concerned about it and understand that it should be a concern that um moms and dads and grandparents like me, we want this to get fixed,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf.

While a solution may not happen anytime soon, Bekteshi said one of the most important things people can do is utilize their village.

“Next time you go out of town like, hey do you need anything, should I check the shelf for a certain formula?” Bekteshi said.

Many major big-name retailers like CVS and Target have put a limit on how many packages of formula can be purchased in one transaction.

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