Biden admin faces new lawsuit regarding ongoing baby formula shortage

The Washington Examiner reports that the administration of President Joe Biden has just been hit with a lawsuit regarding the ongoing, nationwide baby formula shortage. 

The lawsuit specifically concerns the investigation that the Biden administration has been leading into the baby formula shortage.

Background

The baby formula shortage that the United States has now been experiencing for the better of a year is believed to have been caused by several different factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain issues that the country has faced.

The situation was made significantly worse last February when Abbott Labs’ shut down its plant in Sturgis, Michigan. This occurred after two infants died as the result of bacteria found by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at Abbott’s Sturgis plant.

In May of this year, the Biden administration’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated an investigation into the nationwide baby formula shortage.

FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan explained at the time that the purpose of the investigation was “to identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or hampered our ability to respond to it.”

Khan also said that the FTC would seek public comment “on whether the FTC itself or state or federal agencies may have inadvertently taken steps that contributed to fragile supply chains in the market for these crucial products for many American families.”

The lawsuit

It is regarding this investigation that the FTC is now facing a lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by an ethics watchdog called the Functional Government Initiative (FGI).

The FGI alleges that the FTC has wrongfully blocked the release of the documents from its baby formula shortage investigation, documents that the FGI believes the public has an interest in seeing.

The FGI had filed a Freedom of Information Act request back in August, but the FTC has yet to comply. The FTC claimed that they needed more time to comply because of “unusual circumstances” stemming from “the need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.” The FTC, however, did not say when it would comply.

The FGI, with its new lawsuit, is essentially looking to get a court to force the FTC to hand over the documents.

“Americans deserve to know what this investigation is doing to get baby formula back on the shelves and how it can help prevent future shortages,” FGI spokesman Pete McGinnis said.