First baby formula shipment, enough for thousands of U.S. infants, arrives from Europe By Reuters

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© Reuters. ARCHIVE PHOTO: Soldiers load boxes of baby formula ready for first shipments to the U.S. from Europe at U.S. Army base Ramstein, Germany, May 21, 2022, to try to fight a critical shortage in the US REUTERS / Erol Dogrudogan


By Ahmed Aboulenein and Chris Gallagher

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A military cargo plane carrying Europe’s first infant formula shipment to help deal with a critical shortage in the United States landed in Indianapolis on Sunday, but a senior government official said far more.

A reminder of February 17 by major baby formula makers Abbott Laboratories (NYSE 🙂 and the closure of its manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, has created one of the biggest shortcomings in infant formula in recent history for U.S. families.

“This is an important step, but it is by no means the only thing that needs to be done. We will continue to work as the President has instructed us to look for every opportunity to increase supply,” he said. Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who has greeted. the plane on arrival.

“This particular formula is for a very, very small percentage of children. About 17,000 children in the country are basically the beneficiaries of this particular formula,” he said.

President Joe Biden’s administration is looking to store empty shelves with 1.5 million containers of Nestlé’s special infant formula. Biden last week invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to help increase supplies.

Nestlé said more shipments will arrive in the coming days.

Troops used forklifts to unload cargo boxes from the plane, which the White House said was carrying 78,000 pounds (35,000 kg) of special infant formula, enough for 500,000 bottles, and to the trucks heading. in distribution centers.

Abbott, the largest U.S. supplier of infant formula, closed its Michigan plant after reports of bacterial infections in four babies, exacerbating the shortage among several manufacturers that began with pandemic supply chain problems .

Executive director Robert Ford apologized for the shortage on Sunday and pledged to fix it, adding that the plant would reopen in the first week of June and that the products would take six to eight weeks to reach the shelves. of the shops.

“We apologize to all the families we have been disappointed with since our voluntary withdrawal aggravated the shortage of infant formula in our country,” she wrote in a Washington Post column.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency on Sunday to prevent price increases.

“This emergency executive order will help us crack down on any retailer who wants to capitalize on this crisis by raising the prices of this essential good,” it said in a statement.

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