An infant drinks from a baby bottle.

“It is a large shipment of very specific and specialized formula.”

Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack as the first sizable shipments of infant formula arrive in the U.S. from Europe in an attempt to ease the baby formula shortage.

Published on

may 23, 2022

  • The first shipment consists of hypoallergenic baby formula for those allergic to cow's milk.
  • The U.S. government says the military shipment of the prescription formula includes enough for 1.5 million baby bottles — which can feed 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for a week.
  • Meanwhile, several babies have been hospitalized as parents attempt to use different formula or make their own.
  • Why It Matters: This is part of the White House's "Operation Fly Formula" — using military planes to ship formula from overseas to help with the U.S. baby formula shortage.

More Context:

Regarding the Abbott manufacturing plant shutdown in Michigan due to concerns about bacterial infections in babies: "We simply don’t have the evidence to demonstrate that causality" between that facility and the infections, says the FDA. The Abbott CEO penned an op-ed in The Washington Post published this weekend: "We’re sorry to every family we’ve let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s baby formula shortage." The closed facility is projected to reopen in early June.

Important excerpt from the Op-Ed: "As you may have heard, we also entered into a consent decree with the FDA related to our closed facility. This was a major step toward quickly and safely reopening. We expect we’ll be able to restart the facility by the first week in June. From the time we restart production at the site, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available on shelves. When we are operating our Michigan facility at full capacity, we will more than double our current production of powdered infant formula for the United States. By the end of June, we will be supplying more formula to Americans than we were in January before the recall."

Baby formula arrives in Indianapolis from Germany on US military aircraft to address critical need (CNN)

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