Senate OKs overhaul of baby formula rules in aid program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a bill aimed at easing the baby formula shortage for families participating in a government assistance program known as WIC.

Katherine Gibson Haynes

Katherine Gibson-Haynes helps distribute infant formula during a baby formula drive Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Houston. Parents seeking baby formula are running into bare supermarket and pharmacy shelves in part because of ongoing supply disruptions and a recent safety recall. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

That program accounts for about half of all formula purchases in the U.S.

The House had passed the bill the day before, so it now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The vouchers can generally only be used to purchase one brand of infant formula, which encourages the manufacturer to offer big discounts to secure a state’s business.

The bill makes it possible for families to redeem the WIC vouchers for whatever formula brand is available.

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