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West Kelowna mom wrestles with baby formula shortage

Baby formula shortage in the U.S. being felt in the Okanagan
Like many infants, Carolyn Foggo’s son Cobe needs a hypallergenic formula. (Photo credit/Taylor Kizyma)

A West Kelowna mother is feeling the pinch from the massive baby formula safety recall in the U.S.

Earlier this year Abbott Nutrition recalled several of its brands after four babies suffered bacterial infections from consuming powdered infant formula that federal officials determined came from the facility. Two of the babies died.

That, along with supply chain issues, has led to a severe shortage of formula in the United States. Abbott has also issued a safety recall in Canada. The company said its formula is not likely the source of infection, but the U.S Food and Drug Administration is still investigating.

Carolyn Foggo’s six-month-old son Cobe has a milk allergy and after trying several hypoallergenic formulas, she finally found one he would drink.

“We found Similac Alimentum at Walmart, so we bought a box and he liked it, he drank it,” said Foggo. “It was a huge victory for us.”

Similac Alimentum is a liquid, ready-feed product and is not part of the recall. But Foggo told Capital News it is getting increasingly difficult to find.

“I’ve called at least 30 stores from Penticton to Vernon trying to find it, and nobody had it.”

After contacting the company, Foggo received an email that apologized for the inconvenience and stated Similac Alimentum products will be “unavailable for an extended period of time.”

Foggo said she can still breastfeed Cobe, but it causes him quite a bit of discomfort and she prefers to keep him on a formula that works. She’s also connected with a group of moms who are dealing with similar issues.

“I’m on a Facebook group called Mamas For Mamas,” added Foggo. “I reached out on there and had several replies of people going through the same thing. Some people have no other option.”

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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