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White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the White House is using “every tool” to address the baby formula shortage and increase production as quickly as possible.
Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.
“Our message to parents is we hear you, we want to do everything we can and we’re gonna cut every element of red tape to help address this and make it better to get formula on the shelves,” Psaki said.
READ MORE: Biden talks to infant formula makers as parents search for supplies
The baby formula shortage in the United States is driving parents to swap, sell and offer leftover supplies to each other, as President Joe Biden spoke with manufacturers and retailers Thursday about the plight facing families.
Psaki said the president discussed with executives from Mead Johnson and Gerber how they could increase production and how his administration could help, and talked with leaders from Walmart and Target about how to restock shelves and address regional disparities in access to formula.
The administration plans to monitor possible price gouging and work with trading partners in Mexico, Chile, Ireland and the Netherlands on imports, even though 98% of baby formula is domestically made.
“The steps the president took today are an acknowledgment and a recognition that more needs to be done, that we do not want parents, mothers, families out there to be stressed and worried about feeding their babies,” Psaki said, adding the country has already seen an increase in supply over the past four weeks.
The problem is the result of supply chain disruptions and a safety recall, and has had a cascade of effects: Retailers are limiting what customers can buy, and doctors and health workers are urging parents to contact food banks or physicians’ offices, in addition to warning against watering down formula to stretch supplies or using online DIY recipes.
Psaki said “there are a range of options” under consideration regarding tools to boost supply, including the Defense Production Act, but she said the first course of action is working with manufacturers to increase productivity.
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