sunny.png
Sunday July 3rd, 2022 7:56PM

US allows more baby formula imports to fight shortage

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire from parents and politicians, President Joe Biden’s administration announced steps Monday to ease a nationwide shortage of baby formula, including reopening the largest domestic manufacturing plant and increasing imports from overseas.

The Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping formula to the U.S.

“The FDA expects that the measures and steps it’s taking with infant formula manufacturers and others will mean more and more supply is on the way or on store shelves moving forward,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told reporters.

Califf said the U.S. will prioritize companies that can provide the largest shipments and quickly show documentation that their formulas are safe and meet U.S. nutrition standards.

The imports announcement came shortly after regulators said they’d reached a deal to allow Abbott Nutrition to restart its Sturgis, Michigan-based plant, which has been closed since February due to contamination issues. The company must overhaul its safety protocols and procedures before resuming production.

Neither step will have an immediate effect on tight supplies that have left many parents searching for formula online or in food banks.

After getting the FDA’s OK, Abbott said it will take eight to ten weeks before new products begin arriving in stores. The company didn’t set a timeline to restart manufacturing.

Getting imports into the U.S. supply chain could take several months, according to administration officials. Even before the latest change FDA officials said imports of baby formula are already up more than 300% from last year.

Monday's announcement was previewed last week by the White House, which has been leaning on the FDA and formula makers to quickly find ways to alleviate the shortage. Outrage over the issue has quickly snowballed and handed Republicans a fresh talking point to use against President Biden ahead of November elections.

The shortage stems from a February recall by Abbott that exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on stores shelves across much of the country. The shortage has led retailers like CVS and Walgreens to limit how many containers customers can purchase per visit.

Abbott’s voluntary recall was triggered by four illnesses reported in babies who had consumed powdered formula from the Michigan plant. All four infants were hospitalized with a rare type of bacterial infection and two died.

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.

Chicago-based Abbott has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children. Samples of the bacteria found at its plant did not match the strains collected from the babies by federal investigators. The company has repeatedly stated it is ready to resume manufacturing, pending an FDA decision.

Former FDA officials say fixing the type of problems uncovered at Abbott’s plant takes time, and infant formula facilities receive more scrutiny than other food facilities. Companies need to exhaustively clean the facility and equipment, retrain staff, repeatedly test and document there is no contamination.

As part of the FDA's new import policy, regulators said companies would need to provide documentation of their factory's inspections.

Pediatricians say baby formulas produced in Canada and Europe are roughly equivalent to those in the U.S. But traditionally, 98% of the infant formula supply in the U.S. is made domestically. Companies seeking to enter the U.S. face several major hurdles, including rigorous research and manufacturing standards imposed by the FDA.

San Diego father Steven Hyde has faced heart-wrenching challenges finding formula for his medical fragile daughter, who was on an Abbott formula but has had to switch with the recall and subsequent shortages in other brands.

Zoie Hyde was born 19 months ago with no kidneys, a rare life-threatening condition that requires dialysis and a feeding tube until she weighs enough for a kidney transplant.

Hyde said he used an organic brand from overseas until costs and customs hurdles made that too difficult. Friends and strangers from out of state have sent him other brands, but each time she switches requires more blood tests and monitoring, Davis said.

Despite her challenges, Zoie is walking, talking and “doing pretty good’’ on other developmental milestones, Davis said.

“She’s a shining light in my life,’’ he said.

___

AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this story from Three Oaks, Michigan.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
White House moves to loosen remittance, flight rules on Cuba
The Biden administration says it will expand flights to Cuba and lift Trump-era restrictions on remittances that immigrants can send to people on the island
7:30PM ( 7 minutes ago )
PGA shaping up as much different from previous 4 in Tulsa
Southern Hills proudly displays the slogan for this PGA Championship as “First to Five.”
7:27PM ( 10 minutes ago )
New press secretary hails barrier breakers who paved way
Karine Jean-Pierre is crediting “barrier-breaking people” who came before her for making it possible for a Black, gay, immigrant woman like herself to hold one of the most high-profile jobs in American government
7:16PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ukraine: More than 260 fighters evacuated from Mariupol mill
A Ukrainian military official says more than 260 fighters have been evacuated from a steel plant in the city of Mariupol and taken to Russian-controlled areas
6:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
Oregon sued over failure to provide public defenders
Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without public defenders for weeks have filed a lawsuit against the state claiming a violation of their constitutional rights
6:20PM ( 1 hour ago )
NBC, Fox offer fall television plans, to a point amid change
During a week in mid-May, broadcast television networks traditionally unveil their fall plans in flashy presentations before advertisers in New York
6:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Stocks end mostly lower, extending losing streak for S&P 500
Stocks ended another wobbly day mostly lower on Wall Street Monday, extending a losing streak for markets
5:20PM ( 2 hours ago )
Russia faces diplomatic and battlefield setbacks on Ukraine
Moscow suffered another diplomatic setback in its war with Ukraine, with Sweden joining Finland in deciding to seek NATO membership, while Ukraine’s president congratulated his soldiers who reportedly pushed back Russian forces near the border
5:17PM ( 2 hours ago )
Officials: Buffalo gunman taunted law enforcement online
Law enforcement officials say the white gunman accused of massacring 10 Black people in a racist rampage at a Buffalo supermarket taunted law enforcement online last month and showed up in Buffalo in March
5:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Feds seek prison for rioter in 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt
Federal prosecutors have recommended a prison sentence of more than two months for a Virginia man who stormed the U.S. Capitol wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt
6:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates | Ukrainian fighters evacuated from steel plant
A Ukrainian military official says more than 260 fighters have been evacuated from a steel plant in the city of Mariupol and taken to Russian-controlled areas
6:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden praises Greece for leadership after Russia invasion
President Joe Biden is thanking Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his country’s “moral leadership” in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
6:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
De-Arching: McDonald's to sell Russia business, exit country
McDonald’s says it's started the process of selling its Russian business, which includes 850 restaurants that employ 62,000 people
6:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Golden Knights fire Peter DeBoer after missing playoffs
The Vegas Golden Knights have fired coach Peter DeBoer after they missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history
5:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
US vice president, top officials visit UAE to pay respects
Vice President Kamala Harris has led a high-powered American delegation to the United Arab Emirates to pay respects to the federation’s late ruler and meet with the newly ascended president
4:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Rebuffed by Spirit, JetBlue goes hostile in takeover bid
JetBlue is going hostile in its bid for Spirit Airlines
3:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
White House says deal near to reopen formula plant
Under fire from parents and politicians, President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday is expected to announce an agreement to reopen the largest domestic manufacturing plant of infant formula and to ease import rules to allow supplies in from overseas, amid a nationwide shortage spurred by the Michigan plant’s shutdown earlier this year over safety issues
2:03PM ( 5 hours ago )
Buttigieg sends $5B to cities for safety as road deaths soar
Upcoming data shows traffic deaths soaring in the U.S. The Biden administration is steering $5 billion in federal aid to cities and localities to address the growing crisis
1:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Bank of England governor rejects criticism on inflation
Bank of England Gov. Andrew Bailey has rejected criticism that the institution didn’t move quickly enough to quash inflationary pressures
2:56PM ( 4 hours ago )
EU's Russia sanctions effort slows over oil dependency
The European Union's efforts to impose new sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine appear to have bogged down
2:42PM ( 4 hours ago )
Stocks waver on Wall Street amid broader losing streak
Stocks wavered in choppy trading on Wall Street Monday in the midst of a losing streak that has brought the market down for six weeks in a row
1:47PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
White House moves to loosen remittance, flight rules on Cuba
The Biden administration says it will expand flights to Cuba and lift Trump-era restrictions on remittances that immigrants can send to people on the island
7:30PM ( 8 minutes ago )
PGA shaping up as much different from previous 4 in Tulsa
Southern Hills proudly displays the slogan for this PGA Championship as “First to Five.”
7:27PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Online diary: Buffalo gunman plotted attack for months
Detailed diary entries online appears to show that the white gunman accused of massacring 10 Black people in a racist rampage at a Buffalo supermarket wrote as early as November about staging a livestreamed attack on African Americans
7:13PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Musk hints at paying less for Twitter than his $44B offer
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has given the strongest hint yet that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer made last month
6:56PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Expect more traditional playoff hockey in NHL's 2nd round
The start of the NHL playoffs included more penalties called than any other first round in almost a decade
6:55PM ( 43 minutes ago )