Even if you’re not a parent, you’ve probably heard of the current formula shortage in the United States.
But some on social media say there is something darker at play: intentional and strategic investment by some of the country’s wealthiest men.
A screenshot of a website called the Science Times shows a June 2020 headline that says “Bill Gates, Zukerberg, other billionaires invest in eco-friendly artificial breast milk grown from human breast.”
A May 11 Facebook post who shared the screenshot reads: “Now you know why there’s suddenly a ‘formula shortage.’ The new age robber barons have conveniently invested in unholy breast milk made from organs humans.”
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with facebook.)
There is no evidence that the investments involving Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg in artificial breast milk had anything to do with formula shortages.
The story featured in the post was published on June 20, 2020 and detailed how a start-up called BIOMILQ artificially produces human breast milk from cultured human breast cells in an effort to limit greenhouse gases created during formula manufacturing.
The company received $3.5 million from an investment fund co-founded by Gates, Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, according to the story. The billion dollar fund, Breakthrough Energy Companieswas created to help prevent the effects of climate change and is backed by some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.
Neither BIOMILQ nor the fund’s investment in the company has anything to do with the current shortage. Leila Strickland, co-founder and scientific director of BIOMILQ, told CNN on May 3 that the company is still three or five years away from bringing a product to market.
The shortage is partly due to a Reminder of the February 2022 formula by Abbott, a major US baby food maker, which halted production at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan. This is also due to the supply chain issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic that were already affecting the infant formula industry. High inflation also appears to have compounded the problem.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working to increase supply in the country and has reported that other infant formula manufacturers are reaching or exceeding capacity levels in an attempt to meet current demand.
“Efforts already underway by several infant formula manufacturers include optimizing production processes and schedules to increase product output, as well as prioritizing product lines that need it most, especially infant formulas. specialty,” the agency wrote in a statement. Press release of May 10.
Other steps the FDA is taking to address the shortage include:
Helping manufacturers bring safe products to market, especially specialized formulas for medical needs.
Compile data on stock levels at national and regional levels to help ensure that appropriate supplies of infant formula are getting to where they are needed.
Improve and streamline systems to increase imports of authorized products from other countries.
A Facebook post claims the formula shortage was manufactured because Zuckerberg and Gates invested in a company that makes artificial breast milk.
There is no evidence that an investment in BIOMILQ by a fund in which Zuckerberg and Gates are involved has anything to do with the current infant formula shortage.
The shortage occurred due to a recall by a major US baby food manufacturer and existing supply chain issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
BIOMILQ says there are still three to five years before bringing a product to market.
We are evaluating this fake.