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A digital clearinghouse for information about the ongoing baby formula shortage has been launched by the state of New Mexico.
NMformula.org is a comprehensive site offering information about where baby formula may be available. It also provides information on such community resources as local health councils, pediatricians, food pantries and supporting agencies.
The website links people to the crowdsourcing Facebook page, NM Infant Formula Support Network, created by the Early Childhood Education and Care Department, as well as the Human Milk Repository of New Mexico, an accredited milk bank that collects breast milk donations, screens them for safety and sells that milk to qualifying families.
In a statement announcing the website’s creation, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she encourages “all eligible families to enroll in the New Mexico Women Infant and Children (WIC) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help during this shortage.” Information on these programs is also available there.
The launching of NMformula.org comes in the wake of a powdered baby formula shortage that began two years ago, a result of pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and consumer hoarding of available supplies. The shortages were made worse in recent months after the Cronobacter bacteria was discovered in the Abbott Laboratories facility in Sturgis, Michigan, which is one of four companies that produce about 90% of U.S. formula, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Baby formulas produced at the Abbott facility include those under the brand names Similac, Similac PM 60/40 products, Alimentum and EleCare.
The bacteria outbreak has been linked to two infant deaths since February, but the FDA last week reported that seven other infant deaths were linked to the Abbott facility going back to September 2021. The FDA also said that it has fielded 25 complaints of “life-threatening illness/injury” and 80 instances of “non-life-threatening illness/injury” as a result of the baby formula contamination.
The Abbott facility, shut down since February, reopened June 4 only to have to shut down again June 13 after heavy rain caused flooding in parts of the manufacturing plant.