Health experts say buying baby formula from other countries may not be safe

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 2:08 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Some parents are going through extreme measures just to get their hands on baby formula after a shortage is leaving them empty-handed.

Certain social media posts have piqued the interest of many parents.

One, in particular, suggests parents change their location from the US to Canada on Amazon and there they can buy the formula they need.

Does this actually work?

The short answer is no.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, US-based customers cannot purchase baby formula from the company’s Canadian website if sold and shipped by Amazon.

Also, purchases cannot be made if the product was sold by a third-party seller and shipped by Amazon.

Although, parents can buy formula from third-party sellers on the website only if the seller ships and provides customer service of their own.

The downside is it could be very costly.

“It’s really been a tough problem and has caused a bit of panic,” said Dr. Stephanie Hanson, a physician at Sanford.

Hanson says buying formula from overseas isn’t such a good idea.

“Many times their governmental regulations are different than our own and they may not be the same safety standards that our country is used to,” she said.

Instead, Hanson says there are other safer options.

“Don’t be afraid to switch brands of formula,” she said. ”We also encourage people to show around and to look at places they normally wouldn’t typically think of when buying formula. That means places like grocery stores, pharmacies, small mom-and-pop stores, and gas stations.”

Hanson says there have been a few other trends that she is also warning against.

“Make sure they are not diluting their formula. Some families will add extra water to the recipe to try to stretch it. That’s actually quite dangerous for a baby. It can cause problems with their brain and seizures. It can cause kidney and liver problems,” she said.

Hanson also suggests staying away from recipes found online for making homemade infant formula, which can be unsafe and non-nutritious.

Health experts say try not to hoard a supply of formula.

Its recommended to only keep a 10-14 day supply to help ensure product is available for other consumers.

President Joe Biden recently announced the Invoking Defense Production Act and Launching Operations Fly Formula to help aid in the fight against the formula shortage.

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