FRIDAY, May 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Supply chain issues around the world are fueling a shortage of baby formula — and the problem is only getting worse.

About 40 percent of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock during the week ending April 24 in the United States, CBS News reported. That is an increase from just 11 percent in November and still a large bump from 31 percent on April 3.

In some states, shortages were more severe, including Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota, which had shortages of 50 percent or more; Missouri at 52 percent; Texas at 53 percent; and Tennessee at 54 percent. Between 40 and 50 percent of baby formula products were out of stock in 26 states.

Three-quarters of babies in the United States receive some formula products within their first six months of life, so this affects many families. At issue is trouble getting key ingredients, problems with packaging, labor shortages, and a formula recall early this year.

Among the causes was a widespread recall in February of Abbott Nutrition powdered baby formula products amid reports of illnesses in babies. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to use any of the recalled products manufactured at the Abbott Nutrition Michigan facility because of unclean conditions.

Stores have been limiting sales of the products in response to the shortages. A Walgreens spokesperson said the chain limits customers to three infant and toddler formula products during each transaction, the same number cited by CVS Health. Target is limiting customers to four products, CBS News reported.

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