Stock Groups

Baby formula crunch in U.S. forces scramble to boost supplies -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: A Target store in San Antonio Texas shows a dearth of baby formula. It was taken on May 10, 2022. REUTERS/KayleeGreenlee Beal

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories (NYSE) stated on Saturday that its Michigan-based baby formula manufacturing facility had been reopened. This was a significant step which could ease the national shortage over the coming weeks.

Reckitt Benckiser and Nestle, top infant formula manufacturers, have shipped supplies from abroad since the United States allowed imports from foreign suppliers.

This timeline shows how the Baby Formula Crisis unfolded, and what the steps have been taken to fix it.

Feb. 17

After four customers complained of bacterial infections, Abbott recalls many types of powdered infant formulas made in Sturgis (Michigan) after they were used. The products that were recalled had expiry dates of April 1st, 2022 and later.

Feb. 21

China’s Custom officials advise consumers not to buy or consume certain Abbott infant and baby products.

Feb. 28

Abbott increases recall of Similac PM60/40 products due to a fifth complaint about a bacterial infected.

March 4,

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro asks for an investigation into the FDA’s handling of the Abbott recall.

February 22

FDA investigates Abbott’s Michigan facility and finds Cronobacter Sakazakii, a potentially harmful bacteria. It was found on some surfaces near the infant formula manufacturing areas.

April 20

Abbott calls the recall “short-term hinderance” and reduces its full-year sales growth projections, but retains its profit estimates.

April 28

Rosa DeLauro (House Appropriations Committee Chair) in testimony presents a report obtained from a whistleblower. This whistleblower had been employed at Abbott and filed a complaint to the FDA in September 2021.

April 29,

Abbott states that it will make certain nutrition products at its Michigan facility on an individual basis.

April 10

Major U.S. retail outlets, including Target Corp (NYSE;), CVS Health Corp(NYSE:), Walgreens Boots Alliance, (NASDAQ:), Kroger (NYSE) – Co place limits on the purchase of infant formula products

Abbott states that it prioritises formula production in other plants and the shipping of formula from Ireland.

May 12

To address the problem, President Joe Biden met with representatives from retailers and baby-product manufacturers such as Target and Walmart (NYSE:).

May 13,

Make your own baby formula Perrigo Co According to the NYSE, shortages could persist for the remainder of the year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has closed its probe into Abbott. However, Abbott claims that it had air-sold millions of baby formula powder cans to the United States via its Irish facility.

May 16

FDA has announced that the United States will accept infant formula imports from overseas manufacturers who do not normally sell in the United States.

Abbott and the FDA reach an agreement on how to restart production at the Michigan plant.

May 17,

U.S. House Democrats present a bill that will provide $28 Million in emergency funds for the FDA to assist it with the shortage and strengthen supervision.

Nestle SA (SIX) told Reuters that it flew supplies from Switzerland and the Netherlands to the United States. Reckitt Benckiser is the largest U.S. supplier of milk formula and has increased baby formula production by around 30%.

April 18

U.S. President Joe Biden uses the Defense Production Act as a way to aid manufacturers get the raw materials they need to boost their supply.

April 20

French baby formula producer Danone SA increases its shipments to the United States from Europe, according to U.S. Customs Data and shipping consultancy Ocean Audit.

April 24

Abbott stated that it intends to resume production at the plant on June 4.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission launches an inquiry into the ongoing shortage and to examine past M&A deals in the formula market to understand their impact.

25 May

Danone claims it has doubled shipments to the United States of Neocate, and Reckitt, an Enfamil manufacturer is working to increase supplies in light of a national shortage.

FDA employees were quizzed by lawmakers about their lack of urgency regarding the agency’s handling of complaints concerning possible contamination in baby formula at Abbott’s Sturgis.

June 4

Abbott announced that it had reopened the Sturgis, Michigan baby formula production facility.