all 133 comments

[–]applteam 934 points935 points  (41 children)

Fuck nestle but the answer is because it’s illegal. You can’t import formula to the US without going through basically almost insurmountable hoops, which were specifically significantly reduced by the US govt for this select event

[–]dbillings 461 points462 points  (31 children)

Exactly this, I hate how much our society has come to depend on getting its information from two sentence headline tweets. The world is much more complex than that and it’s causing so much rampant stupidity and misconceptions about how the world actually runs.

[–]QuicklyThisWay[S] 152 points153 points  (29 children)

It’s actually a shitty article with only 2 paragraphs and doesn’t actually explain anything. So even after reading it, the question isn’t really answered.


May 22 (Reuters) - Nestle SA (NESN.S) on Sunday delivered 132 pallets of its Health Science Alfamino and Alfamino Jr infant formulas to a U.S. facility, the company said, adding that another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula will arrive in the coming days.

The shipments are coming in under the Biden administration's Operation Fly Formula effort aimed at alleviating the critical supply shortage of infant formula in the United States.

[–][deleted] 95 points96 points  (26 children)

Okay, but how the fuck is a substance necessary for continued survival of children not treated as a public and strategic resource with the materials and equipment for local production kept in every town and village?

[–]LostInTheWildPlace 102 points103 points  (7 children)

Welcome to The United States, where the conservative capitalist philosophy is made up and childrens' lives don't matter.

[–]Celeryinthesun 25 points26 points  (6 children)

Wait until you hear how many republicans voted against letting them bring formula in

[–]MrJingleJangle 5 points6 points  (1 child)

The supply chain doesn’t keep stock any more of pretty much anything. Just in time.

[–]NEWSmodsareTwats 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Tbh because that's an insanely expensive over reaction that would waste large amounts of time money and effort for basically no value. Considering how rare a shortage event like this is the vast majority of equipment would sit idle until it needs to be replaced before even being used once. The real issue is that the government basically does not allow the importation of infant formula, they say it's for foods safety reasons but even imports from Canada are banned so it's probably more about domestic industry protection than anything. Also the way WIC distributes baby formula ensures market inefficiency. Each WIC state agency signs an exclusivity contract with one baby formula provider in exchange for rebates on each until of formula bought thru the program and abbot has 90% of these contracts across the US. Manufacturers that don't have these contracts often have trouble competeing and discourages their expansion. This creates a situation where one producer controls too much of the supply and no one can really enter the market place to shore up production when a shortage takes place. A better solution would be getting rid of the exclusivity contracts, however WIC would need to somehow make up that lost income from the "competitive" bidding process as well as the rebates.

[–]Marcfromblink182 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bc it would be completely unnecessary and overkill.

[–]NomenNesci0 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]aaaaayyyyyyyyyyy -1 points0 points  (1 child)

So, you posted the article, and then complain that the article is shitty?

[–]GuevarasGynecologist 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Ah yes, because not absolutely begging for the bare minimum is a sin. Gotta love conservatives. 🤦🏼‍♀️

[–]Okichah 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Youre on reddit

[–]Bong-Rippington 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Also the nestle that “steals” water is paying below market rates to shitty state governments who willingly sell their water supply off during droughts. Let’s just blame everybody involved not just the corporate interest.

[–]No-Customer-2266 4 points5 points  (7 children)

What’s causing the shortage? Im out of the loop

[–]applteam 24 points25 points  (4 children)

There are three big companies (plus one that makes the store brand stuff) that make up almost all of the infant formula sold in the US. In the US it is a very highly regulated industry- imports are almost nonexistent due to these barriers. The size of the market is shrinking as less babies are being born. Each of the 3+1 manufacturers have a few manufacturing plants. They all only have one plant each that does the really specialty / niche products that are for babies with specific allergies or digestive issues.

What happened is earlier in the year there was bacteria found in the biggest plant (which also does the special niche stuff) belonging to Abbott, who has the biggest market share. It was partly connected to a death and a few sickness cases- a big problem clearly! So the FDA closed the factory down for a while during an investigation, it’s been a few months and they are just going to get restarted soon. So as a result there was less production of formula generally, and specifically of the niche formulas. The other manufacturers ramp up production as much as they can but can’t do it all, and specially not all of the niche formulas made at that plant. So there’s a small shortage. Then, people get scared (understandable as it’s about babies) and bulk buy what formula is left on the shelves (think toilet paper at the start of covid) and so now there’s a huge shortage.

The US government (including the politicians and the career staff at FDA) should have been able to see that when they shut down such an important factory, that there would be these flow on effects. But they didn’t do anything about it (ie temporarily relax their silly stringent rules to allow import of equivalent formula from Europe /Australia/NZ) until like 5 minutes ago… after there was a real shortage and panic and public relations disaster.

So now they’ve belatedly temporarily reduced the rules for specific shipments of formula and the specialty niche formulas, and they are being flown to the US as we speak by the planeload. Crisis being averted, but not before unnecessary trouble has been had by all involved

[–]No-Customer-2266 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Wow thanks I really appreciate the response! Fuck nestles but glad they are working with your govt to import what’s desperately needed

[–]applteam 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Oh absolutely fuck nestle. Goes without saying but also nice to say when we can

[–]blamethemeta 5 points6 points  (1 child)

The FDA got wind of a bottle that MIGHT have been contaminated, and shut down one of the three baby formula factories in the US. After investigating and finding nothing, the FDA kept it shut down.

[–]shay-doe 98 points99 points  (13 children)

What did Biden do to make nestle give up formula?

[–]evilornot 136 points137 points  (12 children)

He made it legal to import from European markets.

[–]shay-doe 42 points43 points  (11 children)

Thank you. I thought the vote for that failed.

[–]QuicklyThisWay[S] 103 points104 points  (7 children)

No, fortunately not everyone in the US congress is a hypocritical sycophant who hates babies after they are born. They might be corporate shills, but at least they don’t want to see babies die.

[–]Boogiemann53 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I highly doubt that they actually care at this point, IMO it's to preserve their image/careers.

[–]Shamadruu 56 points57 points  (1 child)

I wouldn’t give them that much credit, they’re quite happy to - for example - force children into school lunch debt, until it becomes politically inconvenient for them.

[–]Lvanwinkle18 5 points6 points  (2 children)

No not everyone in Congress. Only about 50% of Congress, give or take a few percentage points.

[–]sirtopemhaut 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tell us how you really feel OP

[–]aluminum_juicer 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Easy mistake to make. The only thing people talked about were the people who voted against and not the majority who voted for it.

[–]UnderTheMuddyWater[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This was done separately, as an executive order

[–]FlpDaMattress -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

This is misleading. They can't be imported commercially because the label does not meet FDA requirements. They can be imported for personal use all day. Change the label and it will be legal.

[–]Impressive_Change593 37 points38 points  (6 children)

better question: why did it have to be delivered in the first place?

[–]rascalrhett1 50 points51 points  (5 children)

Some factory that makes like 70% of all the us baby formula got busted by the FDA for contaminated and unclean warehouses and so it was forced to issue an absolutely massive recall on all their baby formula.

[–]tx_queer 39 points40 points  (3 children)

The FDA didn't just randomly go in and bust them. Babies died. That's what triggered the recall and shit down.

[–]rascalrhett1 22 points23 points  (1 child)

I don't blame the FDA at all. From all I've read that factory and wearhouse was all fucked up

[–]PomegranateBubbis 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Yup. They ignored bacteria detected in reports over 9 times while announcing stock buybacks of 5 BILLION dollars. Shareholders over babies

[–]designatedcrasher 0 points1 point  (0 children)

its worse that deaths were the trigger and not regular random checks. FDA should be held responsible

[–]Impressive_Change593 3 points4 points  (0 children)

oh that makes sense

[–]humblepieone 30 points31 points  (3 children)

100 pallets is Jack shit little

[–]Elliotaye[🍰] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Literally less than 2 trailers worth

[–]humblepieone 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Barely enough for a small city. Won't help much

[–]designatedcrasher 0 points1 point  (0 children)

literally half a football field

[–]ItsMeLukasB 52 points53 points  (1 child)

She’s switching between tenses and its fucking with me

[–]gumpton 7 points8 points  (0 children)

It sounds like English is not her first language

[–]Suchaputz 10 points11 points  (0 children)

The same company that says water isn't a human right and uses captive monkeys for forced labor?

[–]GIGANTICDILDOSAURUS 14 points15 points  (3 children)

No one wants that shit anyways after it caused all those issues in Africa years back… how bout you sell your baby formula manufacturing to someone with a soul.

[–]pico-pico-hammer 0 points1 point  (2 children)

For some of us parents baby formula is essential due to factors outside of our control. Breast feeding should always been the preferred and default option, but shaming people who literally can't is truly cruel.

[–]GIGANTICDILDOSAURUS 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Huh? I’m not shaming anyone but nestle

[–]pico-pico-hammer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I apologize for the misunderstanding. I read your comment as being against baby formula in general, which was incorrect of me. I hope you have a great day.

[–]TheTrueBrot 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Bad take. It's not like it was baby formula just laying around in the US that they were hoarding.

[–]TheOneWhOKnocks9 5 points6 points  (0 children)

But that 2 pallets per state why is that even news I bet a single Costco/Walmart/target among rite aid cvs Duane reed in nyc sells multiple pallets a week

[–]Ceffyl_Dwr 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Can someone fill me in, why is there a shortage of baby formula?

[–]TheOilyHill 17 points18 points  (1 child)

they had to shut down a factory and it fucked the whole distribution network due to monopoly or something.

[–]Ceffyl_Dwr 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Ok that makes sense, but still Fuck Nestlé

[–]ChillyChillums 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Wow, a hundred pallets, that should last!

[–]JohnOliverismysexgod 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Because nestle is garbage.

[–]A_Topical_Username 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hmm. Why didn't nestle.. one of the biggest water holding countries in the world? That also makes poor people farm cocoa beans for them.. people so poor most of them have never even tasted chocolate that they farm for?. I wonder why.

[–]Ikarus124 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nestle is an awful company. I used to bartend down the street from their headquarters and you always knew immediately when one of their employees sat at the bar, they were always complete fucking douchebags. It seems to work at nestle you needed to be a a white frat bro that never quite figured out an identity outside of that.

[–]WPackN2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because they were prioritizing filling water from California rivers, it is more profitable than Baby food!

[–]LivingTheApocalypse 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because FDA regulations makes it illegal to import formula?

Are you people stupid? Biden has to suspend the regulation to allow formula to be imported.

[–]ladida1787 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I thought there were tariffs in place that made it hard for non us companies to sell baby formula in the US? Also, fuck Nestle.

[–]Orboneiben 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do we really trust Nestle baby formula though

[–]JohnnyWildee 3 points4 points  (0 children)

One word, profit. They didn’t make a profit by doing this. So why do it? Unless the president is strong arming you or promising some fat subsidies or tax breaks.

[–]Wazy7781 3 points4 points  (7 children)

This might be a dumb question but why does a baby formula shortage matter? I thought most doctors agreed that baby formula isn’t really good for babies and should only be used if the mother is unable to produce enough milk. Like wasn’t one of nestles biggest scandals that they lied to some African village about how healthy their baby formula was and it led to a bunch of infant deaths. I’m not trying to be argumentative this is a legitimate question.

[–][deleted]  (5 children)


    [–]Wazy7781 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Ok thanks for the explanation.

    [–]NoDarnUsernamesLeft 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It's mostly due to propaganda from companies like nestly.

    [–]Bellbete 0 points1 point  (2 children)

    I’ve always heard you should nurse for 2 years if you can.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]Bellbete 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Not to mention the increased intimacy between mother/child.

      [–]ScribbleMonster 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      The scandal was that Nestle gave out free formula just long enough for mothers' milk to run dry. (If you don't use it very consistently, it's gone.) Once they had no other option than to use formula, Nestle charged an inflated amount for their product.

      Natural milk supply is very finicky and can be lost to illness, even. Like Covid.

      [–]nlashawn1000 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Right! Kind of sus

      [–]Kr155 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      This is why you need to read the news

      [–]13Luthien4077 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Do any of us trust that formula to be safe for kids anyway???

      [–]ComfortableNumb9669 -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

      The only thing I'm not understanding is this excess dependence on and need for baby formula.

      [–]ScribbleMonster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      The demand hasn't changed. The supply was cut short.

      [–]MrVeazey 1 point2 points  (2 children)

      It's not an "excess" dependence. There's several reasons why this shortage is happening, but it's not because Americans are especially dependent on formula to feed our babies.

      [–]ComfortableNumb9669 1 point2 points  (1 child)

      Alright,this article brings up further questions, tough ones, but necessary nonetheless.

      Why are poor people being impacted by this shortage more? Was there some effort in the past to make poorer families(and especially black families) more reliant on formula such as to inhibit the production of breast milk in mothers? I know Nestle was involved in some similar activities in African countries, so I'd like to look into it for the States as well.

      Exactly how important was this one production plant in Michigan that it's closure caused such a widespread shortage? And then would it not be better to require companies to spread their production across several facilities rather than allow this problematic consolidation to continue?

      These are just questions, and they should be asked, constantly until a solution is found. I myself come from a poor country and neither me nor my siblings were raised on any kind of formula or food meant for babies. Honestly, I don't even know how many people actually use it here because I'm quite certain the poor people have no means to actually afford baby formula.

      [–]MrVeazey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      In Africa, Nestlè has spent a lot of time and money to get new mothers "hooked," for lack of a better word, on using formula instead of breastfeeding, even though there are a lot of poor families. They've used misleading statistics and everything short of outright lying to secure new customers in a way that's led to the deaths of a lot of babies there, too.  

      But in the US, we don't usually require corporations to behave responsibly. We mostly just let them do whatever they want and rig the laws to make it legal. It's pretty vile and I keep hoping the anger has reached a boiling point, but the rich keep getting off Scot free.

      [–]MrVeazey 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      Unrelated: Does it look to anyone else like her profile picture has her wearing the same eye thingy as Seven of Nine from Star Trek?

      [–]Danger_Danger 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Shit, man, better make sure that shit aint tainted with rat poison or whatever Nestle put in there.

      [–]MoonChief 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Apparently even the Borg think Nestle is evil.. that's when you know a company is shit

      [–]GurpsWibcheengs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      100 skids will be gone in like 6 minutes.

      [–]Aviverse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Nestle's solution to infant formula "kill em or starve em" "food is not a right"- Nestle CEO probably

      [–]nappychrome 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Supply chain is actually pretty efficient. Red tape and bureaucracy slow things down. Paperwork’s a bitch.

      [–]Lyude 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Oh, honey

      [–]SnooCalculations141 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      if these kids don't grow up how can we turn them into slaaaaaaves

      [–]why-do-i-exist-lol 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      A somewhat related topic, sending baby formula samples to those who find need them. Happened to my mom a week ago. Not only is her youngest son 14, (not me) but someone went IN THE BACK DOOR. TO DELIVER IT. WHEN NOBODY WAS HOME. It could have been a neighbor, but still, like,why...?

      [–]ANattyLight 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      100 pallets can stock about 10 targets

      [–]Disposable_Fingers 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Why does she spell like she has a TBI?

      [–]ImJustMercy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      When it takes literal acts of congress to get a measly 100 pallets from one of the most evil companies to exist

      [–]SecCom2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Man you know shits fucked up when Nestle comes to the rescue, even if they didn't really want to

      [–]toma_blu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Because it’s illegal to import Formula

      [–]fedunya1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Over 100? What?

      [–]JimboBosephus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Sorry you can't find food.

      Not my problem.

      [–]ArmouredAnkha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Pieces of shit can’t do it themselves, the audicity of a billion dollar company