While parents are finally able to breathe a little sigh of relief, after Biden finally noticed the baby formula crisis, an event at Abbott’s Sturgis, Michigan plant has again halted production of this most valuable commodity.
The latest shutdown at the Abbott baby formula plant is likely to delay production for a few weeks. “Production of its EleCare specialty formula was stopped after severe storms in southwestern Michigan flooded areas of its Sturgis, Michigan plant,” reports Fox Business.
This was the same plant that had to be shut down in February, and a recall issued, following contamination that led to some babies getting sick and two even dying. Abbott has notified the United States Food and Drug Administration of the latest issue and issued a statement saying, “Abbott has ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available. Once the plant is re-sanitized and production resumes, we will again begin EleCare production, followed by specialty and metabolic formulas. In parallel, we will work to restart Similac production at the plant as soon as possible.”
This time, instead of failing to act, the FDA appears to be on top of things and making the public aware of what is happening. FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. immediately took to Twitter saying, “Today, we were made aware of the weather-related situation at Abbott’s Sturgis, Mich. facility. I personally spoke to the CEO tonight and we discussed our shared desire to get the facility up and running again as quickly as possible. While this is an unfortunate setback and a reminder that natural weather events can also cause unforeseen supply chain disruptions, I want to reassure consumers the all-of-government work to increase supply means we’ll have more than enough product to meet current demand.”
Commissioner Califf went on the try to reassure parents, tweeting, “Abbott has been exceeding the monthly quantity of formula that it produced in 2021 – all while the Sturgis facility is out of production. Other producers also continue to make formula at higher-than-average rates, and we continue to exercise flexibility to import add’l formula. This means that the total amount of formula available, even before the Sturgis plant is back in production, exceeds the demand for formula prior to the recall.”
The Commissioner then explained how the FDA is monitoring the situation and what they intend to do about it tweeting, “We know Abbott is working quickly to assess the damage and will be reporting its progress to us in the days ahead. Once the company establishes a plan, FDA will be back in the facility working to ensure that they can restart producing safe and quality formula products quickly. Making sure that parents and caregivers have access to both safe and available infant formula remains a top priority for the FDA, and our teams are working night and day to help make that happen.”
It looks like the FDA may have learned something in the last few months, when it was shown how incompetent they have been with minding the store-the baby formula store, so to speak. Babies got sick and babies died due to that incompetence. Do you trust the FDA to stay on top of things, or is your trust broken?