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Is Wic the reason why formula is so damn expensive?

Posted by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM
  • 105 Replies

 

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I went to the store the other day and took a nostalgic walk down the baby isle and happened upon the formula. I was shocked how expensive it was. 23$ a can! That seems like such an outrageous price to pay for something baby has to have to live. My mil told me when she was FF in the early 90's, formula was only 6$ a can. Much more reasonable. But to be honest, all of the women I know who do FF, use Wic. So that got me wondering, is giving away so much free formula (WIC participants consume roughly 54% of all formula sold in the United States) the reason why it's so expensive?

Here's an article I found.

Originally set to help low-income families, currently about 45 percent of all families receive WIC payments. Here we go: So about 50 percent of Americans are helping to support the other 50 percent!

Remarkably, the WIC program accounts for about half of all infant formula sold in the nation. The program was supposed to be only for low-income families, yet it now provides free formula for many middle-income families that certainly don’t need government subsidies.

An even more troubling aspect of WIC is that it encourages parents to feed their babies infant formula rather than breast milk. The share of mothers on WIC who are breastfeeding is substantially lower than that of mothers not using WIC. That effect runs directly counter to the universal advice of health care experts regarding the superiority of breast milk for child development. The WIC program results in low-income parents substituting less nutritious formula for more nutritious mother’s milk.

Another troubling aspect of WIC is that the program’s large subsidies for infant formula appear to be driving up the retail price. The price of formula has risen rapidly since the early 1980s as WIC enrollment has increased. Because recipients are not sensitive to the pricing of WIC food items such as formula, stores can raise prices and receive larger cash redemptions from state agencies

The WIC program drives up the cost of formula for families not on the program as well, and some portion of the taxpayer subsidies for WIC ends up going to the makers of infant formula. This “leakage” of benefits is a common problem in subsidy programs. It is thought, for example, that rising government subsidies for college education have helped spur the rapid inflation in college tuition costs.

Full article here

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:52 PM
8 moms liked this

This is a blog, so right off the bat, not taking it seriously. 

I do not believe that 45% of families in the US get WIC, and this blog does not cite sources (that I can see). 

I want a source saying that half the formula bought in the US is for WIC. 

When I was on WIC when my son was born the women who worked there pushed breastfeeding so hard. They had lactation consultants and everything. They even had breast pumps. So the second paragraph is a big pile of turd droppings. I wanted to breast feed my son exclusively but I had to go back to high school and I also developed mastitis. Which was horrifically painful. I had to stop and give my son formula from WIC. The horror. 

Also, the low income mothers might rely on formla more for the same reason I did: I wasn't around my son 24/7. I had to go to school. A lot of these women work. We can't take our babies to school and to work and the kids have to eat, right? But WIC does encourage breast feeding. They pounded that into the meetings I had to attend. 

And I don't think that WIC is driving up the retail price. But I would sure like to see a source demonstrating the link to WIC and the high cost of formula.  

mommaoftwo
by Bronze Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM
1 mom liked this

I've heard far more negative from breastfeeding mom about WIC then not.

Generally most WIC offices are COMPLETELY off base as far as breastfeeding goes. One woman was told by her WIC office that if her baby is jaundiced then she needs to formula feed until the jaundice clears up. Another was told to not bother tandem nursing because her older child would not continue to benefit from breastfeeding because of the younger baby.

All in all, WIC offices more often look the part rather then actually provide correct information

Quoting mehamil1:

This is a blog, so right off the bat, not taking it seriously. 

I do not believe that 45% of families in the US get WIC, and this blog does not cite sources (that I can see). 

I want a source saying that half the formula bought in the US is for WIC. 

When I was on WIC when my son was born the women who worked there pushed breastfeeding so hard. They had lactation consultants and everything. They even had breast pumps. So the second paragraph is a big pile of turd droppings. I wanted to breast feed my son exclusively but I had to go back to high school and I also developed mastitis. Which was horrifically painful. I had to stop and give my son formula from WIC. The horror. 

Also, the low income mothers might rely on formla more for the same reason I did: I wasn't around my son 24/7. I had to go to school. A lot of these women work. We can't take our babies to school and to work and the kids have to eat, right? But WIC does encourage breast feeding. They pounded that into the meetings I had to attend. 

And I don't think that WIC is driving up the retail price. But I would sure like to see a source demonstrating the link to WIC and the high cost of formula.  


Mommy of FIVE!!!



Tara~12.16.03  Zachary~5.17.05  Rowan~1.17.09  Willow~8/10/11 Baby~ EDA 1/27/13

paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Agree about the blog,lol. So here's another source http://www.sph.unc.edu/images/stories/centers_institutes/CIYCFC/Documents/jensen_e_and_labbok_m,_wic_formula_rebate.pdf

Quoting mehamil1:

This is a blog, so right off the bat, not taking it seriously. 

I do not believe that 45% of families in the US get WIC, and this blog does not cite sources (that I can see). 

I want a source saying that half the formula bought in the US is for WIC. 

When I was on WIC when my son was born the women who worked there pushed breastfeeding so hard. They had lactation consultants and everything. They even had breast pumps. So the second paragraph is a big pile of turd droppings. I wanted to breast feed my son exclusively but I had to go back to high school and I also developed mastitis. Which was horrifically painful. I had to stop and give my son formula from WIC. The horror. 

Also, the low income mothers might rely on formla more for the same reason I did: I wasn't around my son 24/7. I had to go to school. A lot of these women work. We can't take our babies to school and to work and the kids have to eat, right? But WIC does encourage breast feeding. They pounded that into the meetings I had to attend. 

And I don't think that WIC is driving up the retail price. But I would sure like to see a source demonstrating the link to WIC and the high cost of formula.  


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Same here. They tried to convince me to wean my ds at one because after that, "there's really no benefit to breast feed him" They tried to get me to FF my dd because she was latching issues. Then I was told NOT to tandem because it would cause "problems". They never really explained that one.

Quoting mommaoftwo:

I've heard far more negative from breastfeeding mom about WIC then not.

Generally most WIC offices are COMPLETELY off base as far as breastfeeding goes. One woman was told by her WIC office that if her baby is jaundiced then she needs to formula feed until the jaundice clears up. Another was told to not bother tandem nursing because her older child would not continue to benefit from breastfeeding because of the younger baby.

All in all, WIC offices more often look the part rather then actually provide correct information

Quoting mehamil1:

This is a blog, so right off the bat, not taking it seriously. 

I do not believe that 45% of families in the US get WIC, and this blog does not cite sources (that I can see). 

I want a source saying that half the formula bought in the US is for WIC. 

When I was on WIC when my son was born the women who worked there pushed breastfeeding so hard. They had lactation consultants and everything. They even had breast pumps. So the second paragraph is a big pile of turd droppings. I wanted to breast feed my son exclusively but I had to go back to high school and I also developed mastitis. Which was horrifically painful. I had to stop and give my son formula from WIC. The horror. 

Also, the low income mothers might rely on formla more for the same reason I did: I wasn't around my son 24/7. I had to go to school. A lot of these women work. We can't take our babies to school and to work and the kids have to eat, right? But WIC does encourage breast feeding. They pounded that into the meetings I had to attend. 

And I don't think that WIC is driving up the retail price. But I would sure like to see a source demonstrating the link to WIC and the high cost of formula.  



Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

autodidact
by Platinum Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I don't even know where to start with your "logic". Just curious, do you consider yourself pro-life?

MentorMom1
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:07 PM
2 moms liked this

I agree about the breastfeeding. WIC does push it hard. But I think there are a lot of people getting WIC who don't need it. They should look at the income guidelines and make some changes. If the family qualifies for the free or reduced school lunch program, they should get it. If Dad is earning $70 K (I pulled that number out of a hat), then no.

Also, WIC does not allow organic foods, from the signs I have seen on store shelves. which is a mistake. They definitely should.

Also, I am in disagreement that student status should qualify anyone for WIC or foodstamps. Going to school is a choice. If you chose to have a child, it's not the government's responsibility to buy you food. If you are working and still not making enough, that's another story. But you can always wait until the child is older to go back to school.

1stpreggers
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM
No I disagree. Many food items have become expensive and they aren't a part of WIC.
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paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

No...why? And what's wrong with my logic?

Quoting autodidact:

I don't even know where to start with your "logic". Just curious, do you consider yourself pro-life?


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

jlo1313
by Silver Member on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Whoa, I wish I hadn't opened this right now because I have much to say and many links to  provide and such a busy night ahead of me.  I could be up all night on this one. 

IMHO, WIC is a middleman in all of this.  The formula makers themselves have driven their own prices up.  They approach WIC as the best option and show how low income families are not BFing and we still need to give these poor babies with working mothers affordable and free formula to develop.  They claim to put all these healthy things in their formula and add DHA's and jack the price up more because you would be abusing the child if you weren't feeding it the best formula on the market. 

WIC should be educating women to breastfeed first and if they can't then offer support, but they don't and they practically force it down a young or poor mother's throat and guilt them if they try to BF.  That is a huge problem, IMO.  But if they didn't, they wouldn't get their funding and it ends up being a big circle jerk. 

So to summarize...its everyone's fault and its a circle jerk and WIC is the debil!

SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I never thought of it as retailers raising the prices since WIC was paying anyway... I figured since the formula companies sell to WIC at a discounted rate, they jack up the shelf prices to make up the difference.   Maybe a little of each?   In any case... the cost of formula is very inflated for what it actually is.  

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