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Dem senators press USDA on baby formula shortage

Eight Democratic senators wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday, calling on him to do more to address corporate concentration within the infant formula industry as the United States suffers from a shortage of baby formula.

The letter, which was led by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), noted that close to 90 percent of the infant formula market is dominated by four companies: Perrigo, Mead Johnson, Abbott Nutrition and Gerber.

“Unfortunately, this puts our most vulnerable populations at risk, and disproportionately impacts low-income families who rely on programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC),” the senators wrote.

The senators said that WIC purchases an estimated 50 to 66 percent of baby formula in the U.S., and through its sole-contracting model, has only purchased formula from Gerber, Mead Johnson and Abbott Nutrition.

According to an economic research

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