We have just Pushed the Problem Back: Biden Invokes Defense Production Act
The boost for baby formula starts now as we import to cover...
Just yesterday, the Defense Production Act to increase baby formula manufacturing was invoked by President Biden. The lack of production and availability of baby formula has been slowed down nationwide because of the closure of a key plant in Michigan.
The legislation requires suppliers to direct ingredients to the available baby formula manufacturers before any other companies who may have placed orders on the same goods. The law was passed in 1950 during the Korean War.
Infant formulas that meet the United States health and safety standards have also been an objective for pick up. This is an order given by Biden to the Health and Human Services Department along with the Department of Agriculture.
Abbott Nutrition shut its plant in Michigan down due to bacterial contamination. There was a recall on some of the powdered formulas which caused two fatalities in infants who consumed the products. The Justice Department filed a complaint earlier this week and said Abbott introduced adulterated baby formula into the consumer market. The law team at Abbott stays headstrong on their claims that there is “no conclusive evidence” that its formula caused the infants to die.
Also on Monday, an agreement between the FDA and Abbott was made to reopen the plant under conditions subject to enforcement by the federal courts. Some conditions are things such as independent experts being hired to ensure correct practices. It’s expected that the new plant will take at least two weeks to reopen but this isn’t certain considering the need for FDA approval and up to eight weeks for products to arrive in stores.
We can’t domestically produce enough oil, but 98% of baby formula American parents buy is produced in the United States. The FDA is increasing imports of formula from other countries.
More debacle arises as many lawmakers are making claims that the FDA does not have nearly enough inspectors to ensure the imported formula is safe. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced legislation this week that would provide the FDA with $28 million in emergency funding to beef up inspections.