One particular event really kicked off the baby formula shortage, and that was the closure of Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan plant after a recall in February of this year.
The FDA has been investigating what went wrong at that plant, after one baby died and others got sick. Recently, the company issued a statement addressing the shortage and what it is doing to help. In part, the statement says:
“We know the recall has worsened an already existing industry-wide infant formula shortage in the U.S. and we’ve been seeing and hearing the stress and despair of parents who are facing empty shelves. We deeply regret the situation and since the recall, we’ve been working to increase supply at our other FDA-registered facilities, including bringing in Similac from our site in Cootehill, Ireland, by air and producing more liquid Similac and Alimentum. We also began releasing metabolic formulas that were on hold earlier this month at FDA’s request to those who need these unique formulas.
We understand the situation is urgent – getting Sturgis up and running will help alleviate this shortage. Subject to FDA approval, we could restart the site within two weeks.”
But, the statement went on, “[f]rom the time we restart the site, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available on shelves.”
On Monday, Abbott said it had reached an agreement to allow the plant to reopen. But, it will still take eight weeks after production resumes to ship new product.
Unless infant mothers are successful with relactating, they can’t wait eight weeks from when the facility reopens. The Biden administration is so far behind the ball, and has thus exacerbated yet another crisis in this country. Are you the parent of an infant who needs baby formula? Or do you know someone who is? What are you, or they, doing to feed your babies? Please tell us in the comments.