'Five-alarm fire' finally gets noticed

'Five-alarm fire' finally gets noticed

'Five-alarm fire' finally gets noticed

A columnist and mother of five is glad to see the media finally address the baby formula shortage.

Bethany Mandel has been writing and speaking about the shortage for weeks. In April, she noted the media's silence on the topic.

"You would think that it would be front-page news," Mandel said. "The media doesn't care; politicians don't care. This should be an absolute five-alarm fire."

Mandel, Bethany (book editor) Mandel

But mainstream news outlets have since come around. Some have done print and broadcast stories on the issue, and it has even been discussed in White House press briefings.

"Ensuring the availability of these products is also a priority for the FDA, and they are working around the clock to address any possible shortage," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on May 9, 2022.

Still, Mandel says conservative media outlets have proven to be more willing than left-leaning ones to talk about it.

"The Washington Post did their due diligence," she adds. "I've seen very little from other mainstream outlets, but this is definitely now finally getting covered by the majority of conservative outlets."

Mandel goes on to explain that easing formula shortage concerns is not a matter of simply switching to breastfeeding.

"The majority of people who say that are men who have no experience watching a woman try to breastfeed," she asserts. "It's not a spigot that can turn on and off. The reality is for any number of reasons that only 35% of babies when they're six months old are breastfed, and that number drops to 15% at a year old."

In other words, the vast majority of babies rely on formula as their primary source of nutrition up until a year old, and Mandel concludes, "We need to do everything possible to get those babies adequate nutrition."