KCRW – To The Point: Baby formula crisis reveals dangers of too little competition in US economy

May 26, 2022 Interview, Media

The baby formula shortage is still pushing parents into a frenzy even after President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to address it.

Under the 1950s law, the federal government mandates key ingredients of baby formula, requires suppliers to provide them to manufacturers, and even to use military aircraft to import formula from abroad. A bipartisan group of lawmakers had called on the president to invoke it.

Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, says this food emergency is just another example of what she calls a 40-year experiment in “neoliberal, libertarian” thinking that reveals a lack of competition in the U.S. economy.

“The crisis in baby formula has also just really illuminated how dangerous it is to allow one or two dominant companies to control a market,” says Miller.