Matt Schellenberg: Baby Food Supply Crisis Shows How Federal Bureaucracy Plagues Our Daily Lives

How the federal government solves problems is, no other way of putting it, problematic. Take the recent baby food supply shortage, for example.

First, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bureaucracy shut down a baby formula plant in Michigan in February because of the naturally occurring bacteria Cronobacter. The plant was inspected by the FDA which found the problem was not confined. Despite that, the FDA shut down the plant anyway. This plant had been producing 40 percent of the baby formula in the U.S. for years.

Next, half of the baby food supplies in the U.S. are consumed by welfare recipients who are limited by regulation to a choice of three manufacturers. More regulations and federal rules make it difficult to relieve domestic shortages by importing foreign-made supplies. All of this led to a crisis occurring and the president invoking the Defense Supply Act.

The plant in Wisconsin has reopened. Many accolades accrued to the president’s “quick response” even though the shortage had been percolating for months.

Unfortunately, this kind of problem with how the federal government works is not limited to baby formula. We have seen this kind of problem occurring many times thanks to the unintended consequences of government interference in our daily lives.

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