Infant Formula Shortages to Ease as Abbott Labs Restart Production

baby formula shortage in the US
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Abbott Laboratories announced on Saturday that its infant formula manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan, has reopened, helping to alleviate a statewide shortage that has left parents scurrying for supplies, accordion to a Reuters report.

EleCare and other specialist and metabolic formulae will be produced by the firm, with the first EleCare product available to consumers on or around June 20.

The factory is expected to open in one or two weeks, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to Abbott, the facility will open after completing basic standards agreed to with the FDA as part of the May 16 deal.

The plant closure had exacerbated a supply problem in a country where, according to official statistics from 2020, less than half of newborns were exclusively breastfed during their first three months.

According to analytics firm Datasembly, over 73% of infant items are out of supply countrywide as of May 22.

After complaints of bacterial illnesses in infants who had taken the formula prepared at the factory, Abbott began a recall in February.

The FDA’s investigation of the Sturgis factory discovered “shocking” findings such as fractures in critical equipment, insufficient hand-washing, and indications of past bacterial contamination.

While the FDA’s examination discovered bacteria in environmental tests but not in product samples, Abbott has stated that there is no evidence linking their formulae to the infections.

Following that, the FDA went into a consent decree deal, giving it control over Abbott’s operations to remedy the plant’s issues.

Prior to the recall, Abbott had 40% of the baby formula industry, including Similac, but other businesses, such as Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, have gained market share since then.

Even if the factory returns to production, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf has stated that it might take weeks for baby formula stocks to return to normal.

After the country’s health authorities modified its import ban, global firms that create infant formula, such as Neocate maker Danone SA, are introducing their goods into the United States.

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