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Baby formula shortage in Canada leads to panic buying

The baby formula shortage in the United States continues to affect the Canadian market with many parents taking to social media to try and find the formula needed for their infants and toddlers.

Sylvain Charlebois, director of the agrifood and analytics labs at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told Global News that Canada is not immune to what is happening in the U.S. as Canada relies on its neighbour to the south to import baby formula.

“We actually manufacture baby formula in Canada but all of it goes to China,” he said. “That’s why, right now, parents are scratching their heads (and) wondering why are we short?”

He said there is some good news, however, as Abbott is set to reopen its plant in Michigan within the next two weeks.

On Feb. 17, the company closed the plant after the Food and Drug Administration found contamination from bacteria.

“If that plant reopens then I think North America should be OK but in the meantime, we’re probably going to expect more formula from Europe,” Charlebois said.

Read more: U.S. receives 78,000 pounds of baby formula from Europe amid shortage

A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children.

President Joe Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes for the effort, dubbed “Operation Fly Formula,” because no commercial flights were available.

But it appears Canada is still trying to catch up.

There has been some evidence of panic buying and Charlebois said he is not surprised.

“Just seven days ago, the Retail Council of Canada was basically telling

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Ontario monitoring epidural shortage in Western Canada, hospitals making plans
Humber River Hospital, said an epidural is “one of the most popular choices for pain management in labour.” Prepare for shortage of epidural catheter kits for pain management during childbirth: SHA There are concerns right now in Canada and around the world due to a worldwide shortage of epidural kits used to treat pain in childbirth, but also for pain relief during or after various surgical procedures.“An epidural is part of really multi-modal options for pain management in labour and the discussion about an epidural happens throughout the entire pregnancy with the patient’s provider, whether that’s an OBGYN like me, a family physician or a midwife … and it is absolutely a patient’s choice,” said Hawkins.The Ontario Ministry of Health is watching the situation unfold in other Canadian provinces where there are shortages in the availability of epidural catheters due to supply chain issues.“Currently, Ontario has an adequate supply of epidural catheters and women are able to access epidurals for childbirth. The Ministry of Health and Ontario Health are actively engaging with Health Canada, suppliers, distributors and manufacturers across Ontario to understand the current situation and supply forecasts in order to mitigate any potential impact to patients,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Global News in a statement.The shortage is due to a supply chain issue from one component of the epidural catheter kit.