OPINION: Ryan McMaken - Baby Formula: Thank Protectionists and the FDA for the Shortage

OPINION:  Ryan McMaken - Baby Formula: Thank Protectionists and the FDA for the Shortage

For parents who rely on baby formula—whether by choice or due to medical necessity—the nationwide baby formula shortage has become increasingly difficult to ignore. According to the Wall Street Journal, Walgreens, Target, CVS, and Kroger have all begun rationing supplies of formula.

Covid lockdowns, combined with a product recall by formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition has created a very real shortage in a product that is key for proper nutrition in many children.

With the shortage has come the usual half-baked bromides about "evil corporations" and how baby formula companies are supposedly not regulated enough. Throw in a few references to "late-stage capitalism" and you'll get a good taste of the usual "blame capitalism" narrative that accompanies every bout of shortages or rising prices.

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An economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014, Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.