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Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (Photo:a11.asmdc.org)

Infant Formula Stockpile Bill Moves To Assembly Health Committee

AB 228 was created in the wake of the 2022 infant formula shortage

By Evan Symon, January 30, 2023 9:16 pm

A bill to create an infant formula stockpile for the state of California prepared for Committee discussion this week following Committee placement last week.

Assembly Bill 228, authored by freshman Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City), would require both the State Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services to stockpile infant formula, as well as establish procurement, management, and distribution of infant formula during future shortages in California. In addition, a new Committee, the Infant Formula Advisory Committee, would be established to make recommendations on the new program.

Assemblywoman Wilson wrote the bill to combat future shortages of baby formula. During the Spring and Summer of last year, nationwide shortages, caused by the global supply chain crisis and numerous formula recalls, led to many areas being out of formula. At it’s peak in late May to early July, 70% of stores reported to be out of formula. Most sores restricted the number that people could by, while others restricted purchases only to those that medically required it. Governor Gavin Newsom even signed actions in an attempt to stop price gouging. While prices and the supply have normalized, lingering questions, especially over the speed of the White House response, have lingered, as well as questions of what would happen if it occurred again.

AB 228 would set up a system similar to the Department of Public Health’s stockpiles of flu and other vaccines.

“Today Team Wilson introduced our first bill of the year dealing with the baby formula shortage,” tweeted Wilson earlier this month. “AB 228 will create a strategic stockpile of baby formula to help serve California residents during shortages.”

In a later interview, Wilson added, “I was horrified by last year’s shortage, which left many parents scrambling to find some way to feed their babies. If you’ve stopped breastfeeding at a certain age, that is the only thing that your baby is eating. What was important to me was making sure that we had a variety of formula available to be in the stockpile.”

While support for or against the bill has yet to shore up, with only a few co-authors in the Assembly coming out in favor of the bill, many  have begun to question if such a stockpile is even needed, as well as what the final cost would be.

“We’re already fixing the problem we had last year, as we worked through those supply chain issues and started producing more of everything needed in the U.S.,” explained  Carly Tyler, a distribution manager for a baby products company, to the Globe on Monday. “The solution isn’t a stockpile, which can be a logistical nightmare, but one where we can produce what we need here, as well as have backups in case another crises happens. It’s more big picture.

“And that’s not even getting into the cost of it all. It will be pretty significant to do this, all to solve a problem that’s already being solved. It makes more sense to ensure that it can be produced here without many transit delays, that backup sources are available, and that steps are taken to make it less easy to steal from stores. It is one of the most stolen products from food and health stores, so if we start putting it behind glass more or have added security, we can save a lot of it from going out that way too. The bill doesn’t even address that.”

AB 228 was referred to the Assembly Health Committee last week and is currently awaiting discussion.

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Evan Symon
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10 thoughts on “Infant Formula Stockpile Bill Moves To Assembly Health Committee

  1. This sounds like a subsidy to the manufacturers. It will increase demand as the the state “stockpiles”. That inventory will then proceed to become out-dated in a short period of time and need to be re-ordered.
    Is this to make up for falling birthrates? Or is it just another way to funnel money from the taxpayers to an entity which sends a portion back to the Democrat party?

  2. Baby formula has a shelf life, and as the article mentioned, it will be a logistical nightmare for the state? No doubt there will be a lot of spoilage and waste? Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Wilson probably never considered that? By the way, Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Wilson is from Suisun City and she was installed in the general election for California State Assembly District 11 on November 8, 2022 having “defeated” Independent Jenny Callison from Vacaville. District 11 was gerrymandered by the Democrat cabal so that the highly populated and urbanized Vallejo/Suisun City Bay Area was included with the more rural areas of the Sacramento Valley and the suburban communities of Fairfield and Vacaville.

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