Formula factory could reopen in 2 weeks

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May 16, 2022 — The Abbott infant formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which was closed in February, could reopen in about two weeks, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said Monday. “Today” Pin up.

“We now have a way forward,” Califf said. “Abbott is responsible for the schedule, but I’m very comfortable with what they said about two weeks. … It’s entirely within the realm of the possible and I think it’s quite likely.

The reopening of the plant could help alleviate a severe shortage of powdered baby formula that occurred due to supply chain issues and the recall of some Abbott products made at the Sturgis plant. The FDA said some of these formulas have been linked to cases of bacterial infection in children, including two fatal cases.

The FDA closed its investigation of the Sturgis plant last week. Califf said the FDA would find out why it took months to close the Sturgis plant after reports of problems there.

Although the formula shortage is acute, Califf said he doesn’t expect it to last until the end of the year.

“We are taking a number of steps, including mobilizing all manufacturers, commissioning the Sturgis plant, but also importing a product that was intended for other countries,” he said. he declared. “It’s on track now. And in fact, I think by the end of the day today, we’ll probably have an announcement on that path forward.

The United States currently does not import infant formula from overseas. Califf said the FDA will have to test the imported formula to make sure it’s safe.

The White House has reached out to top infant formula makers about increasing the amount of infant formula produced and addressing supply chain issues, NBC News reported Monday, citing an official anonymous from the White House. The official also said the administration is talking with Amazon, Target and Walmart about identifying areas of the United States with critically low infant formula supplies.

The Biden administration has also introduced a website to provide information to parents struggling to find formula. The website lists contact details for baby food manufacturers and local food banks and offers safety guidelines, CNN reported.

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