How the WIC program created the conditions that caused the baby formula shortage : The Indicator from Planet Money Baby formula is in short supply after a voluntary February recall by the manufacturer, Abbott. Today, we explain how the government helped shape the U.S. formula market, and why that structure led to a devastating shortage.

The government program that contributed to the baby formula shortage

The government program that contributed to the baby formula shortage

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SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images
(Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)
SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images

The formula shortage is causing hardship to families across the country. Efforts are being made to bring in foreign supplies and to get the domestic manufacturer, Abbott, back up and running. But how could a recall at just one manufacturing plant cause such a devastating shortage in the United States?

Today, we explore how partnerships between the government and infant formula manufacturers helped to solve a cost problem, but created a weakness that's leaving thousands of families vulnerable.

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