State officials hope to boost baby formula production for Metro Detroit families

Making own formula, diluting formula not recommended amid formula shortage

On Friday (May 13), Governor Gretchen Whitmer reached out to leaders at Abbott Nutrition, whose Sturgis Plant was shut down following a recall about getting production of its baby formula back on track. Empty store shelves have prompted parents to take matters into their own hands, but the state warns parents about that tonight. A current wrinkle in the matter is that this incident doesn’t just affect current parents, as expectant parents also have to worry if the formula will be there for them.

DETROITGov. Gretchen Whitmer is reaching out to leaders at Abbott Nutrition, whose Sturgis plant was shut down following a recall, about getting production of its baby formula back on track.

Empty store shelves have prompted parents to start taking matters into their own hands.

“Anybody who has a baby under a year old, there’s nothing available.”

Trying to track down formula for her baby Brianna has been so hard for Tricia Sanford, that she and Bri’s father Bryan Kondratko have had to call in the reserves.

“We definitely don’t have time during the day to drive store to store,” Sanford said. “We have family members out looking for it.”

A few days ago, Tricia was getting desperate and was down to her last four bottles. That’s when she called her pediatrician.

“I was going to call to see if they had any alternatives, and they said they had samples and asked if we could come pick them up,” she said.

Needless to say, Sanford raced over and got enough formula that should last Bri until she’s a year old and will be able to switch over to the toddler formula, of which there is no shortage.

But so many other families aren’t having the same luck and that prompted politicians in both Washington and Lansing to announce efforts to help. In the meantime, the state health department does *not* recommend making your own formula or diluting the formula you have to make it last longer.

But as Tricia knows, desperate parents will do whatever they have to.

“When they’re used to a certain kind, and then you immediately switch them-- I mean, she was miserable for 3 days before our pediatrician gave us what she’s been using for the last 8 months.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that her office would prosecute any cases of price gouging when it comes to selling baby formula.

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.