The FDA has created resources for parents and caregivers to help explain some of the processes associated with, and results of, the agency’s efforts to help facilitate importing infant formula.
On May 16, 2022, FDA announced increased flexibilities for the importation of infant formula products, which have resulted in more than 520 million bottles worth of infant formula coming to the U.S.
Many of the imported products are, or will be soon, available through regular places to shop for infant formula, like major retailers, grocery stores and their online counterparts, as well as through company-specific websites.
Infant Formula Names to Know
Learn to recognize the labels of imported formula products you may shop for. Here are a few examples of imported infant formula you may be seeing.
Tips on Where to Find Products and Comparable Formulas
FDA has been working collectively with federal partners, manufacturers and retailers to ensure confidence in infant formula that is safe and nutritious, including product coming in from other countries, is on shelves nationwide.
Two L.A. city councilmen called Friday for more resources for the city’s struggling animal shelters following a Times article about crowded kennels, shelter dogs that go for weeks without walks and staffing shortages.
“Angelenos deserve the services we pay for,” said City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, whose South L.A. district includes Chesterfield Square Animal Services Center. “We expect animals to be treated humanely and require the city to do better.”
Chesterfield Square is the most crowded of the city’s six animal shelters and houses some 300 dogs, some of whom face long confinement periods. The city relies on hundreds of unpaid volunteers to walk and exercise the dogs, but volunteers say that they can’t keep up with the influx of animals.
At the same time, staffing shortages are hurting the department. Animal Services lost more than 20% of its workforce through a program that encouraged older city employees to retire. It was launched in the first year of the pandemic in 2020 when it wasn’t clear that federal funding would be available.
Today, staff at Animal Services are frequently absent because of COVID-19-related issues, staff and volunteers told The Times.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the west San Fernando Valley, said he was “horrified” to read about conditions at the shelters. “My heart breaks for the animals,” said Blumenfield, who said his family has both fostered and adopted shelter dogs.
Blumenfield questioned why more “red flags” weren’t raised about the shelter’s challenges.
Yet, members of the public regularly call into meetings of the Los Angeles Animal Services Commission, which is made up of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointees, to complain about conditions at the shelters, including the dogs’ long confinement.
And in May, an employee at the city’s San Pedro shelter emailed supervisors to alert them to overcrowding issues, including dogs that were being housed in shower stalls and in wildlife cages.
“We should be able to deal with this as a city,” Blumenfield said. “We have the resources and we have the know-how.”
He said the city shouldn’t be in a position where its dogs “are kept in shower stalls and not having walks.”
Blumenfield, who was critical at the time of the city’s retirement program because he feared a big loss in staff, also said the department needs more employees and better technology make it easier for the public to volunteer and adopt animals.
Animal Services’ interim general manager Annette Ramirez said in an interview last month that a new website will launch soon.
Harris-Dawson also said the neighborhood around the shelter “is filled with folks who love pets and are willing to give their time to turn the situation around. If Animal Services engages with the local community, they will show up.”
KTLA reported Thursday that Claudio Kusnier, a volunteer at the West Valley shelter, was suspended after he talked to the news outlet about conditions at the shelter.
Kusnier told KTLA that the shelters need to stay open past 5 p.m. so more people can volunteer. At one point — Kusnier was also interviewed after the suspension — he blamed department “mismanagement” for the loss of two key staff members who recently left. Both of those staffers are now working at other animal services agencies.
Jean Sarfaty, a former 911 city operator who volunteers at the West Valley shelter, told The Times that she was also suspended after talking to the media on Thursday. She said she was told she was suspended because she gave an interview without permission. She was wearing an Animal Services t-shirt at the time, too.
“I didn’t say anything negative,” Sarfaty said. “I said that the city employees work hard and that volunteers help to do the things that the city workers aren’t doing because they don’t have time.” The Times was not immediately able to get a comment from Animal Services about Sarfaty’s account.
Agnes Sibal, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Animal Services, said the department doesn’t comment on “staffing-related or personnel issues.”
Speaking generally about volunteer interviews, Sibal said volunteers need department approval prior to speaking to the media “when they are going to speak and represent the department [as a volunteer] to the media.”
Sibal also appeared on CBS2 this week and said that the dogs receive care, although some may not be walked for weeks.
“All the dogs in our shelters actually get daily enrichments,” Sibal told the news station. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they get walked every day. However, they do get some form of exercise and interaction with volunteers or staff.”
Asked what exercise the dogs get every day, Sibal told The Times the animals get enrichment activities.
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“Dogs receive exercise through canine enrichment by engaging them in activities designed to stimulate their mind while also keeping them active,” Sibal said.
“Enrichment activities happen daily and vary day by day and may be outdoors via playtime in the yards or walks, or in their kennels, when they get their daily treats from staff/volunteers; receive Kong toys with treats inside; or when they enjoy frozen treats during hot weather,” Sibal said.
Other activities include blowing bubbles for dogs to pop and chase and reading to the animals, Sibal said.
She also said that city staff’s enrichment activities may not be reflected in any logs.
Former Animal Services supervisor Thomas Kalinowski, one of the staff who recently left the department, said that he personally interacted with dogs that hadn’t been out of their kennels in weeks or months.
Mike Long, communications director for SEIU 721, which represents some Animal Services workers, said Friday that “more animals will continue to suffer” if the city doesn’t act.
“We have to face facts — we need more dollars for staff and facilities because clearly, relying on the good will of volunteers and on private, one-time donations from pet-loving celebrities alone just isn’t enough,” Long said.
City Councilman Paul Koretz, who chairs a committee overseeing animal issues, has scheduled an emergency committee meeting next week to discuss conditions at the shelters.
Florida AG Moody urges Biden to declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction
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EXCLUSIVE: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling for illicit fentanyl to be declared a weapon of mass destruction after two mass overdoses in her state — and amid an increase in overdoses attributed to the deadly drug.
Moody is urging President Biden to either use executive authority or urge Congress to declare fentanyl a WMD — a move that would require government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Pentagon to work together.
“Given how many Americans are being murdered, the whole federal government and every tactic and capability that we have should be utilized to stop the death and destruction that fentanyl is causing,” she says in a letter to Biden.
A weapon of mass destruction is defined by the U.S. government as a “nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.” Moody’s office cited prior government assessments that fentanyl “is very likely a viable option for a chemical weapon attack.”
“Relying on non-state criminal actors and terrorist to think or act as expected is a losing proposition. The reality is that the deadliness of fentanyl combined with its sheer availability in Mexico to criminal cartels and non-state actors makes it an increasingly likely weapon for use,” Moody says in the letter.
Southern border seizures of the drug, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and can be fatal in tiny amounts, have soared in recent years. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 10,586 pounds of the drug in FY 2021. That is up from 4,558 pounds seized in FY 2020 and 2,633 pounds seized in FY 2019.
While it is unclear how much fentanyl is getting into the U.S., since that number refers to apprehensions of the drug only, the number of deaths related to the drug is increasing. The Drug Enforcement Administration warned earlier this year of a “nationwide spike” in fentanyl-related overdoses.
The agency cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that, in a 12-month period ending in October, there were more than 105,000 drug overdoses, 66% of which were related to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Deaths often occur when a user does not realize they are ingesting fentanyl, which is laced in with other drugs.
Moody has been sounding the alarm about the fentanyl crisis in her state and urged President Biden to raise the issue with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The majority of fentanyl is produced in Mexico with Chinese precursors and smuggled in via the southern land border.
She cited two recent mass overdose incidents in the states, including 19 overdoses in Gadsden County over Fourth of July weekend.
“Border Patrol has seized enough fentanyl to kill the entire American population many times over,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “With that in mind and the recent mass overdose events in Hillsborough and Gadsden Counties, I am demanding President Biden classify illicit fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
“The federal government already works to disrupt the supply chains of other chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons—it’s not hard to imagine that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the U.S. through cartels in Mexico—and save countless American lives,” she said.
Moody says that securing the southern border would be a positive move to stop fentanyl smuggling, but that she does not hold out much hope the Biden administration will accomplish that.
“While there are many acts and steps that your administration could take, like stopping the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants and further fortifying the southern border, I realize that your administration will not or is incapable of taking those actions,” she says in the letter.
Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, had previously called for such a declaration, calling the substance “one of the most dangerous drugs responsible for creating a public health crisis in the United States.”
“It is vital the federal government takes immediate action to address the opioid epidemic and protect the American people by designating fentanyl as a [WMD],” he said.
Other Republicans had called for Biden to make it a top priority of his meeting with Mexican President Lopez Obrador.
The White House has pushed back against the Republican claims of inaction, pointing instead to a number of initiatives it has taken to tackle the opioid and fentanyl crisis, including investments in agencies for national drug control programs and $293 million for CBP to prevent fentanyl smuggling.
The White House has also successfully pushed the U.N. to ban precursor chemicals, and Biden himself issued two executive orders on the matter.
“In his first State of the Union, President Biden called on the Nation to come together and beat the opioid epidemic as part of his Unity Agenda. His National Drug Control Strategy is focused on going after the two key drivers of the crisis: untreated addiction and drug trafficking, which includes working with all our international partners to reduce the supply of illicit drugs,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement to Fox last month. “And his budget request calls for a historic increase in funding for our Customs and Border Protection who risk their lives doing the hard work of securing our border every day. When issuing his Executive Order on sanctions, President Biden declared that international drug trafficking, including fentanyl and other synthetic opioids coming from Mexico, constitutes an extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States. And the President is addressing this crisis head on.”
Biden eventually did cite the fentanyl crisis in his public remarks alongside Lopez Obrador, saying the U.S. is “accelerating our efforts to disrupt the trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs, that are literally killing, fentanyl kills people.”
Biden also touted recent efforts by his administration to disrupt both human and drug smuggling, which he said resulted in 20,000 operations and more than 3,000 arrests in April.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, with a focus on immigration. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY
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