NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – The out of stock rate for baby formula is more than 40% this month.
Now, scammers could be looking to take advantage. The FDA is working to import formula from other countries including Ireland and Chile.
President Biden is calling upon Walmart, Gerber and others to step up efforts on Thursday. Scammers in other parts of the country already taking advantage.
“We haven’t seen any specific cases of these scams in Connecticut yet. But we’re hearing about them anecdotally throughout the country at Better Bureau offices, so we want to get ahead of it. Let Connecticut residents know it’s out there, it’s happened before and it will likely happen again,” said Kristen Johnson of the Better Business Bureau.
Some families have turned to buying infant formula from third parties online. Johnson warns that could be a scam especially if the seller links you to an outside website for payment.
The shortage stems from supply chain disruptions and a safety recall. Retailers like CVS limit formula purchases to three products per person. CVS says it’s working with vendors to address the issue.
If you’re concerned you’re getting scammed, the Better Business Bureau has a website where you can see if a scam has been reported.
This shortage is causing a lot of concern for many moms especially those who depend on it to feed their children. Store shelves are empty and many stores, which do have it in stock, are limiting what people can buy.
Lawrence & Memorial Hospital is now able to offer donor breast milk to new moms who are patients at the hospital amid the baby formula shortage. Those moms are also able to buy some of that milk to take home and use as a bridge while they wait for their own breast milk to fully come in
This comes at a crucial time when there is a shortage of baby formula, which may have helped some of these moms who were having trouble nursing at first.
The assistant director of the NICU at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital says moms should go online, try smaller stores instead of the big chains, and even contact WIC to try to find formula. Also, moms should be willing to try other brands unless they need a specialty formula.
Even more important may be what people should not do, which is water down their baby formula to make it last longer, use regular milk, and especially do not try to make their own formula from what they may learn on the internet. All those could be very dangerous.
“There’s recipes circulating online. It’s very unsafe for babies. Babies can have serious health complications or even die from these homemade formulas,” said Dr. Rosa Carrasco, Assistant Director of the NICU at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. The BBB is also putting out a warning to be wary of baby formula shortage scams.
Breastfeeding is recommended for children at least up to one year old. People at the hospital say they have gotten calls from moms who had stopped breast feeding and want to try to start up again because of the baby formula shortage.