WASHINGTON DC - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement commending the Honorable Alvaro Bedoya, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for enforcing the three Civil Investigative Demand (CID) requests the FTC issued to three infant formula manufacturers that bid on contracts to provide formula through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
“I applaud the FTC for following through on its investigative efforts to examine this vital industry and root out potential anticompetitive behavior in this highly concentrated marketplace so that families everywhere have access to and can afford the formula they need to feed their babies,” said Duckworth. “Ensuring the infant formula industry promotes effective competition and more resilient supply chains remains a critical national priority. This action by the FTC demonstrates the Commission is appropriately steadfast in its commitment to investigate infant formula manufacturers, despite industry resistance to greater transparency and disclosure.”
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Importantly, the FTC’s investigation into potential collusion or coordination by market participants bidding for WIC contracts is also examining whether such activity, if found, adversely affects the broader infant formula marketplace.
Following the nationwide infant formula shortage, Duckworth has been working to prevent it from happening again. In 2022, she wrote to the Honorable Lina Khan, Chair of the FTC, requesting that the FTC launch a wide-ranging study of the infant formula industry. After calling for this investigation, Duckworth was pleased the FTC took action to launch an inquiry into the infant formula shortage.
Additionally, Duckworth helped introduce the Access to Baby Formula Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to address the infant formula shortage for families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which President Biden signed it into law. She joined her colleagues to help introduce the Protect Infants from Formula Shortages Act to safeguard the availability of these products by requiring manufacturers to notify the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of potential supply disruptions and give the FDA additional tools to proactively work with manufacturers to help prevent or mitigate potential shortages. Duckworth also joined her colleagues in urging the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address extremely high levels of corporate concentration in the infant formula marketplace.
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