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Tennessee federal lawmaker investigating baby formula price gouging

Lawmakers are looking into possible baby formula price gouging as an ongoing shortage causes families to become increasingly desperate for the product.
Lawmakers are looking into possible baby formula price gouging as an ongoing shortage causes families to become increasingly desperate for the product.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:39 AM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 1:04 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVLT) - Tennessee federal lawmakers are looking into possible baby formula price gouging as an ongoing shortage causes families to become increasingly desperate for the product.

Tennessee currently ranks as the worst state for finding baby formula. Parents have had to turn to social media groups, friends, pediatricians, and even charities, like Helping Mamas Knoxville, for help. According to United States Representative Tim Burchett, the sold-out rate of baby formula in the state sits at approximately 50%.

“This formula shortage is devastating families across the country, and Tennessee is one of the hardest-hit states,” Rep. Burchett said. “As a father, I know there’s nothing more important than caring for our children, and our leaders need to make sure anyone who takes advantage of this crisis for profit is held accountable.”

Rep. Burchett announced Thursday that he intends to ask Attorney General Herbert H. Slattery III and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate instances of price gouging amid the shortage.

“Imagine somebody gouging the price of baby formula,” Rep. Burchett said. “To me, that classifies them in the ‘dirtbag’ category, and they are.”

In a press conference, he noted that with the “economic might” of the federal government, the United States should have enough formula for babies in need.

“Just this weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and this week, it seems that all these mothers are doing now are worrying about feeding their babies,” Rep. Burchett said.

The FDA is expanding operating hours at manufacturing plants and making it easier for approved baby formula to be imported.

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