Mastriano Demands Baby Formula Crisis Be Addressed By Wolf
This letter from May 13 was forwarded to us by Carol Klein. Thank you Carol.
Dear Governor Wolf and Acting Secretary Johnson:
We write to you today regarding mounting concerns over baby formula shortages throughout our Commonwealth and nation. Knowing that this critical predicament is affecting our most vulnerable population –newborns and infants– we are seeking immediate redress. Within the past few weeks, this issue seems to have only escalated, and the reports throughout Pennsylvania of scarce formula stock and empty shelves at grocery stores and pharmacies are numerous and unacceptable.
We are concerned for the families who are unable to find formula for their infants, including for babies with rare metabolic diseases, such as Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), Phenylketonuria (PKU), and Homocystinuria, who require special formula to survive.
While this issue is nationwide, Pennsylvania’s leaders cannot sit idly by and wait for the federal government to act. We have an obligation to be proactive for Pennsylvanians in addressing this matter and to have alternate plans in place before we face a statewide crisis.
Accordingly, your response to the following questions would be appreciated:
- What is your plan to address the baby formula shortage within our Commonwealth and the concerns of parents and families?
- What is the status of baby formula availability in our hospital nurseries?
- Is the Commonwealth actively working with the federal government to address this crisis? If so, in what ways?
- Is there any credence to reports that baby formula is being shipped to the border for illegal immigrants while many Pennsylvania store shelves are empty?
- Do we have a government emergency stockpile in our state? If so, what is your plan for use and distribution?
Additionally, we propose the Commonwealth consider the following options to help bring some immediate relief to parents:
- Urge the Attorney General to monitor formula pricing and hold retailers and anyone having access and/or attempting to resell baby formula accountable for price gouging. Such individuals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- Communicate with parents and families about efforts being taken to resolve this crisis, and instructions on how to obtain formula, with regular updates on the state’s progress.
- Explore public-private partnership (s) with food banks, charitable organizations, and other nonprofits who may have access to baby formula.
We trust that you will both be diligent in your responsibility to address this crucial matter to ensure the well-being and health of our children. It is imperative that we act now.
Senator Doug Mastriano, 33rd Senatorial District
Senator Michele Brooks, 50th Senatorial District