Biden Uses Defense Protection Act To Combat Baby Formula Shortage
The Biden administration will invoke the Defense Protection Act to address the nationwide baby formula shortage caused by bacterial contamination at Abbott Nutrition, a Michigan-based supplier, in February.
“The Defense Production Act gives the government the ability to require suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good,” President Joe Biden said in a video statement announcing the implementation of the 1950 Korean War-era law.
It is unclear what major suppliers will be affected.
The president made good on his promise to push for increased imports of baby formula by announcing Operation Fly Formula, a new initiative that will allow the utilization of the Defense Department’s planes to transport formula from other countries.
“Bypassing regular air freighting routes will speed up the importation and distribution of formula and serve as an immediate support as manufacturers continue to ramp up production,” Biden added.
Earlier this week, the FDA announced that they had reached an agreement with Abbott Nutrition to reopen the facility. The company will first need to complete a list of “to-do’s” mandated by the FDA. Once they complete the list, reopening is expected in around two weeks’ time to help alleviate the shortage.
President Biden also spoke with major retailers last Thursday to come up with a plan to get baby formula back on the shelves. Details included working with the Federal Trade Commission and state attorney generals to combat unfair market prices and simplifying product offerings to allow manufacturers to increase production.
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