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A dire lack of baby formula in the United States in the past few weeks has been blamed on production deficiencies such as the small number of manufacturers and an inflexible supply chain.

But Christina Jewett, an investigative reporter at The Times, has traced it back further, to deadly bacteria whose detection set off a chain of events that ultimately led to the shortage.


  • Christina Jewett, an investigative reporter who covers the Food and Drug Administration for The New York Times.

Store shelves in Washington this month. Some retailers have been limiting how much baby formula shoppers can buy as a nationwide shortage continues.
Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • While most recent attention has been focused on fixing the supply shortfall, regulators are confronting deeper issues of safety that persist in formula manufacturing.

  • Baby formula supplies from Europe have been shipped to the United States to address the shortage, though it may take weeks for supermarket shelves to be fully stocked again.

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Christina Jewett contributed reporting.

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