First baby formula shipment arrives from Europe on U.S. military plane
On Sunday, a military cargo plane with the first shipment from Europe of infant formula arrived in Indianapolis. It was destined to help address the critical supply shortage in America.
The closing of Sturgis’ Michigan manufacturing plant and a recall of top-rated baby formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories on February 17th have caused one of the most severe infant formula shortages in American history.
The administration of President Joe Biden is looking to fill empty shelves with 1.5million Nestle infant formulas. Biden used the Cold War-era Defense Production Act last week to boost supplies.
According to the White House, 78,000 pounds (35.338 kg) specialty infant formula was carried on Sunday’s plane.
There’s enough special medical-grade formula formula to make about half a million bottles of that formula. This is about 15% of our national volume for the week,” White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said to Fox News Sunday.
Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, was present to welcome the aircraft.
Abbott, the largest U.S. provider of powder infant formula closed its Michigan location after four reports about bacterial infections. The closure was a result of an increase in shortages among several manufacturers, which began as a pandemic supply-chain problem.
Abbott Chief Executive Robert Ford apologized for the formula shortageThe plant was closed on Sunday. On Sunday, the owner promised that he would fix it. It would then be opened again in the beginning of June. Products would need to arrive at the stores for six- to eight weeks.
Ford said in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post, “We are sorry to all families we have let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s shortage of baby formula.”
Ford stated that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not discover any links between four sick children and the Michigan formula manufacturing area, but did uncover evidence of bacteria.