Michigan Baby Formula Factory Restarted as FDA and Abbott Come to Agreement

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    In February, Abbott Nutrition instituted a recall following four illnesses that were discovered in babies who consumed powdered formula made at Abbott Nutrition's Sturgis, Michigan plant. This has been a key factor in the continual infant formula shortage, which has caused a lot of concern for parents.

    “After a six-week inspection, FDA investigators published a list of problems in March, including lax safety and sanitary standards and a history of bacterial contamination in several parts of the plant,” reported by the Associated Press.

    “Chicago-based Abbott has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children,” it said. “Samples of the bacteria found at its plant did not match the strains collected from the babies by federal investigators.”

    Because Abbott is one of four companies who have control of 90 percent of the market for baby formula and due to the current supply chain crisis, there has been a massive shortage.

    In a press release on Monday morning, Abbott Nutrition said that the FDA agreement has produced “steps necessary to resume production and maintain the facility,” although it will require court approval. When it is given the green light by the FDA, Abbott said it can resume manufacturing infant formula within two weeks. It will take a period between six and eight weeks until the product will be available to purchase, according to ABC News.

    Robert B. Ford, chief executive officer and chairman of Abbott, stated that Abbott's “number one priority is getting infants and families the high-quality formulas they need, and this is a major step toward re-opening our Sturgis facility so we can ease the nationwide formula shortage.”

    “We look forward to working with the FDA to quickly and safely re-open the facility,” Ford said.

    The Biden administration has faced a lot of criticism regarding their handling of this crisis. Yesterday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre falsely claimed Biden administration officials have taken the shortage very seriously since Feb.

    “This is something he is focusing on very acutely and again I said 24/7 we've been working on this since we have learned about this back in February,” Jean-Pierre stated in the daily news briefing.

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