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 October 31, 2022

Biden's FTC sued for delaying watchdog's FOIA request regarding baby formula shortage

On President Joe Biden's watch, out of all things we could experience a shortage of, it had to be baby formula. The situation was at crisis levels earlier this year, and while the White House provided excuse after excuse, they were never held accountable.

However, that appears to be changing, as the Washington Examiner reported that President Joe Biden's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now faces a lawsuit for allegedly blocking a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the details of the baby formula shortage.

The FOIA request was originally filed by a watchdog group called Functional Government Initiative.

Citing "public interest," the group filed the request in August, and only heard in September that the request wouldn't be granted within the prescribed 20-day window required by federal law.

Conveniently, the FTC had the power to issue an extension to the timeline of the FOIA request, citing "unusual circumstances" that arose from the "need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request."

The watchdog group claims that the FTC is "wrongfully withholding them," referring to the records requested.

"FGI anticipates that officials and staff at FTC discussed and participated in making and implementing decisions about the investigation into the infant formula crisis," read the watchdog's lawsuit. "The public does not have an ability to easily evaluate the decision-making surrounding FTC's investigation."

The Examiner added: "Through its lawsuit, FGI aims to obtain records on this announcement and communications between FTC commissioners or their staff with members of Congress and congressional staff about infant formula."

The documents requested are from an investigation opened in May of this year by the FTC into the baby formula shortage, "to identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or hampered our ability to respond to it," an FTC spokesperson said at the time.

"FTC's investigation into the causes of the infant formula crises is especially significant given that the Nation continues to confront shortages in the supply of infant formula that threatens the well-being of some of the country's most vulnerable individuals," FGI's lawsuit reads.

Only time will tell what becomes of the request, but it's refreshing to know that we just might get to the bottom of this situation sooner than later.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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