Stand up for the facts!
Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
• A Mississippi nonprofit, Operation Ukraine, sent $10,000 worth of baby formula to Ukraine in March.
• There is no evidence that the donated formula contributed to current U.S. baby formula shortages, which are attributed to supply chain problems that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the recall of some formula that led to a manufacturing plant shutdown.
The U.S. shortage of baby formula has several causes — from supply chain problems to formula recalls — but charitable giving is not among them, despite social media claims.
A May 12 post on Facebook suggests that donations of baby formula to Ukraine are related to the current shortage.
The post shows side-by-side screenshots of two news headlines. One is dated March 7, 2022, and says, "Operation Ukraine boxes baby formula to send overseas," and the other, dated May 12, 2022, says, "Baby formula shortage hits parts of the U.S." The dates are circled on each story.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
There is no evidence the donated baby formula contributed to U.S. shortages, which are attributed to supply chain problems that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the recall of some formula that led to a manufacturing plant shutdown.
The headline about Operation Ukraine is a reference to a 22-year-old Columbus, Miss., nonprofit that gathered $10,000 worth of baby formula to ship to Ukraine in March, a Mississipipi television station reported.
One 21-ounce can of Enfamil formula costs around $30, so $10,000 would purchase about 333 cans — not nearly enough to have an effect on the nationwide shortage.
Causes of the U.S. shortage are described by Bloomberg as "long-term economic pressures collid(ing) with a sudden supply shock." The long-term issues are related to the pandemic, which led to supply chain and shipping disruptions, as well as labor shortages. And the supply shock, Bloomberg explained, came when Abbott Laboratories recalled its baby formula and shut down a Michigan manufacturing plant because of concerns about contamination.
The claim that donations of baby formula to Ukraine are related to the current U.S. shortage is unfounded. We rate it False.
Bloomberg, "What You Need to Know About the US Baby Formula Shortage," May 17, 2022
Enfamil.com, accessed May 17, 2022
Facebook post, May 12, 2022
PolitiFact, "Formula shortage isn’t related to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg investment in artificial breast milk," May 12, 2022
WTVA, "Columbus organization seeks donations for Ukraine," March 7, 2022
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.