White House ‘Near Deal’ To Reopen Abbott Baby Formula Plant, Allow Imports
The Biden administration on Monday is expected to announce an agreement which would reopen the largest domestic baby formula plant in addition to easing import rules to allow for supplies from overseas, according to NBC San Diego.
According to the White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese, a consent decree between Abbott and the FDA is “forthcoming,” while the agency will take steps on imports to address urgent supply constraints.
The administration has been under fire over the last week for doing nothing to ease the shortage of formula due to a malfunctioning drying machine that contaminated several batches, killing two children and injuring two more.
The contamination led to a February recall by Abbott, which shuttered the company’s Michigan plan at perhaps the worst possible time amid ongoing supply chain disruptions among other manufacturers.
Abbott is one of four major producers that account for roughly 90% of baby formula in the US.
Over the weekend, the White House offered formula manufacturers and retailers transportation and logistics support, and working with all major formula producers to boost production, including reaching out to their suppliers to encourage them to prioritize production and delivery of formula ingredients. –NBC
According to Deese, the administration “made clear to all of them that federal resources, including transportation and logistics resources, are available and on call and we are prepared to move assets in coordination with them as and when we identify need.”
The FDA has warned parents not to try and make their own baby formula – and to instead call their doctor or seek charities with supplies of milk.
During its six-week investigation, the FDA published a list of problems in March, including issues with sanitary standards and safety, as well as a history of bacterial contamination in several areas of the plant.
Abbott, however, said that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children, as samples found at the plant did not match the strains collected from the babies. The company has repeatedly said it’s ready to continue manufacturing, however the FDA has not allowed them to do so.
Mon, 05/16/2022 – 16:45