(WJW) – The Biden Administration is working to address the baby formula shortage that’s impacting families across the country, including in Northeast Ohio.

On Thursday, officials say Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers like Walmart, Target, Reckitt and Gerber, discussing how to help families access formula.

The shortage has been tied to recalls and supply chain issues.

Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled several lines of powdered formula back in February after concerns about bacterial contamination at the company’s Sturgis, Michigan facility. The investigation reported that four infants became sick and two died. 

The Biden Administration says the federal government has been working with other baby formula manufacturers to increase production, expediting impacted formula from overseas and calling on retailers to put limits on purchases to stop people from hoarding.

Here’s more steps that Biden announced Thursday to get baby formula back on store shelves as quickly and safely as possible.

Cut red tape to get more formula on shelves

About half of baby formula in the U.S. is purchased by people using WIC benefits, which are based on both federal requirements and other rules set by individual states. The Biden Administration says those rules have a large impact on the availability and distribution of formula in each state.

Now, the USDA is working with states to make it easier for families to buy the baby formula they need with their WIC benefits. That way, if a certain size or type of baby formula is out of stock, that family can still use their benefits on products available on store shelves.

Crack down on price gouging, unfair sales

Officials say there have been several reports of people buying formula at retail stores and reselling it online for a much higher price, taking advantage of parents trying to feed their children.

Since February, the FDA has been working with retailers to enforce purchase limits that would help crack down on price gouging. The Department of Justice is now working with state attorneys to monitor price gouging in the baby formula market.

Also, Biden asked the Federal Trade Commission Thursday to use its resources to monitor and investigate this issue.

Increase supply of imported formula

The Biden Administration says the U.S. normally produces 98% of its own baby formula, with key trading partners being Mexico, Chile, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Due to the ongoing shortage, however, the FDA plans to take new steps to bring more imported formula to the U.S.

Read more about steps the FDA is taking to address the shortage here.