FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A nationwide baby formula shortage has left parents scrambling to feed their children and paying a lot more for those precious cans.
"The formula issue is horrible," said Sydney Moseley, a mom to nine-month-old twin boys. "I was able to buy four cans for $250. That's a week for us. One can lasts 2.3 days."
It's a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, and inflation.
In Texas, more than half of all baby formula products are completely sold out, according to the latest numbers from Datasembly. What's left is expensive.
"Right now, our biggest concern is price gouging," said Amy Rasor, the Fort Worth regional director of the Better Business Bureau. "What we really have to do is price shop, compare, make sure what you're seeing is fair across the board. If you're seeing the same or similar prices elsewhere, that's the inflation of the product at this time."
If you suspect price gouging, you can report it to the Texas Attorney General's Office or the BBB.
The cost of formula has especially skyrocketed on third party sites, where parents need to use extreme caution.
"You have the people that are going to get it and then they upcharge you, and I've already been scammed already," Moseley said. "Which hurts worse because who does that? But it happens."
The FDA says it's working around the clock to address the shortage, but it's not clear when things could improve.
"The current situation with shortages in key ingredients, labor shortages, logistical challenges and supply chain disruptions, it would be hard to get it back up to speed within at least six months, that's what I would think," said Sreekumar Bhaskaran, a supply chain expert and associate professor in the SMU Cox School of Business' Information Technology and Operations Management department. "It's an unfortunate situation."
Bhaskaran says families should avoid panic buying more than they need because it can make the problem worse. Top retailers like Target, CVS, and Walgreens have limited the number of products people can buy at one time to try to make sure there's enough to go around.
"Check with your pediatrician to see if there are any local resources they can share," Rasor said.
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