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Bauer calls on attorney general to investigate baby formula price gouging, governor to activate National Guard to aid with supply chain

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INDIANAPOLIS - With shelves empty and costs rising from the nation’s baby formula shortage, State Rep. Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) is issuing a call for Governor Eric Holcomb and Attorney General Todd Rokita to use their powers to intervene in this crisis. This shortage comes amid supply chain issues due to the closing of a Michigan-based Abbott formula manufacturer after compromised baby formula from the facility was recalled. 

Bauer’s call for action comprises three parts: 

  1. Rokita must investigate baby formula price gouging.
     
  2. Holcomb must activate the National Guard and pass an executive order to declare a state of emergency and speed up ongoing formula supply chain issues. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has led on this issue in his state, and it’s time to act in Indiana.
     
  3. State agencies have received federal approval to help WIC participants have expanded access to safe baby formula. Currently, Indiana only allows one out of three available waivers to be accepted: that recalled formula can be returned. State agencies must expand the other two waivers: allow participants to receive alternate container sizes and allow participants to receive a different brand of formula without a doctor's note. 

“Without a special session called by Gov. Holcomb, the General Assembly cannot act on this critical issue until 2023,” Bauer said. “As a result, it’s on our executive officers and state agencies to help resolve this crisis for parents and vulnerable babies. While the FDA’s signed consent agreement with Abbott to safely resume production will help resolve this in a few weeks, infants are hungry now. 

“Indiana must also act because it’s critical that the baby formula available to parents is safe. Two babies died from the contaminated powder formula, and others were hospitalized. Regulators must ensure that we prioritize safety and availability of formula equally.

“Statehouse Republicans have notably called upon Holcomb to call a special session should Roe v. Wade be overturned or weakened so that they can make abortion restrictions more stringent but have been entirely silent on this issue. This is a pro-life issue. Babies cannot go on living malnourished and hungry, and we must do all we can to help those we are elected to serve.”

For help finding baby formula, visit the Department of Health and Human Services database: HHS.gov/formula.

To report price gouging, visit the Attorney General's consumer complaint site.

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