OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — In a letter sent this week, 22 Oklahoma House Republicans are asking the Governor and Attorney General to “work on securing the immediate release of baby formula being held at the Nation’s Southern border and to stop further shipments.”
The letter also states, “We ask you as one of our state’s leaders to do everything in your power to free up the federal stockpile of baby formula at the southern border so Oklahomans and Americans can find the products they need to feed their children.”
Supplies of baby formula across the country have been severely curtailed in recent weeks after a February recall by Abbott Nutrition exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving
KFOR has asked for more clarification on how much baby formula is headed to the southern border and if any of those shipments were from Oklahoma.
Broken Arrow Representative Ross Ford responded to our request saying he didn’t know how many shipments have been sent to the border and wouldn’t think shipments were from Oklahoma, but does say the federal government sending formula to the border is making problems worse for Oklahomans who are impacted by the national shortage.
Here are the questions sent to Ford and his responses:
KFOR: How many shipments of baby formula have gone to the southern border?
Ross Ford: “Since the Federal Government is in charge of these shipments, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many have been sent or are continued to be sent to the Southern Border.”
KFOR: Are any of those shipments of formula from Oklahoma?
Ross Ford: “I wouldn’t think these shipments are from Oklahoma, but by the Federal Government sending them to the Southern Border they have made the problems worse for Oklahoma and those other States who are also affected by this shortage. While we have Oklahomans who are traveling two hours to get baby formula, I think it’s unheard of for the Federal Government to be buying up the limited supply just to ship to the Southern Border.”
KFOR: How much of the national stockpile is being given to the southern border?
Ross Ford: “These are great questions that I hope are able to get answered. As this federal government tends to do things behind closed doors when in regard to actions taken at the U.S. Southern Border it’s up to our Congressional Delegation, our leaders in the State, and news organization to demand these answers from the Federal Government on their actions.”
Below is the full text of letters sent to the governor and the attorney general:
We in the Oklahoma Legislature are calling upon you to act in the best interest of Oklahomans and to ensure the Federal Government is doing all they can to help Oklahomans receive the supplies they need by stopping the shipments of baby formula to the Southern Border and immediately release the stockpile of formula already being held there.
After a product recall and a major plant shut down, the Biden Administration should have immediately worked to increase production and the FDA should have sped up inspections to prepare for the upcoming shortage. Instead, they waited to act until 43% of the product is already off of the shelves and to make matters worse the Federal Government sent a large quantity of baby formula to the Southern Border increasing the effects of the shortage on the American people.
Now we are hearing reports of Oklahomans who can’t find baby formula in their city and are having to drive two hours away, sometimes out of State, just to properly feed their children. That is unacceptable in our eyes and something must be done to fix this issue.
We owe it to our citizens to ensure they have the supplies they need to properly care for their families. We ask you as one of our State’s leader to do everything in your power to free up the federal stockpile of baby formula at the Southern Border so Oklahomans and Americans can find the products they need to feed their children.
In addition to Ford, the letter is signed by Reps. Brad Boles, R-Marlow; Carol Bush, R-Tulsa; Chad Caldwell, R-Enid; Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle; Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont; Dean Davis, R-Broken Arrow; Justin Humphrey, R-Lane; Robert Manger, R-Oklahoma City; Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan; Nicole Miller, R-Edmond; Carl Newton, R-Cherokee; Rep. Jadine Nollan, R-Sand Springs; Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa; Jim Olsen, R-Roland; Mike Osburn, R-Edmond; Todd Russ, R-Cordell; Lonnie Sims, R-Jenks; Marilyn Stark, R-Bethany; Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore; Kevin West, R-Moore; and Rande Worthen, R-Lawton.