The company’s first step will be to produce more specific formulas for babies with allergies or digestive problems.
WASHINGTON – Abbott Nutrition has resumed production at its Michigan baby formula factory, which has been closed for months due to pollution, the company said Saturday it has taken steps to reduce a nationwide supply shortfall that is expected to continue into the summer.
The closure of the country’s largest formula factory in February caused supply problems that forced some parents to seek formula from food banks, friends and doctor’s offices.
Abbott said he would initially prefer to produce EleCare-specific formulas for babies with severe food allergies and digestive problems who have no other options for feeding. The company said it would take about three weeks for the plant’s new formula to begin appearing on store shelves.
“We will increase production as soon as possible while meeting all the requirements,” Abbott said.
The reopening of the plant is one of several federal measures expected to improve supplies in the coming weeks. The administration of President Joe Biden has eased import rules for foreign manufacturers, shipped formulas by air from Europe, and appealed to federal emergency rules to give preference to U.S. production.
Abbott closed the Sturgis plant in Michigan in February after the Food and Drug Administration began investigating four bacterial infections among infants who received artificial food in plant form. Two of the babies died. The company continues to state that its products are not directly related to infections involving various bacterial strains.
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FDA inspectors have finally found a number of violations at the plant, including bacterial contamination, leaking roofs and poor safety protocols. The FDA has faced serious scrutiny for taking months to negotiate the plant’s closure and subsequent reopening. Agency officials recently told Congress that they needed to enter into a legally binding agreement with Abbott to ensure that all problems were resolved.
Abbott’s recall of several leading brands, including Similac, in February squeezed over already strained supplies, disrupting the supply chain during the closure of COVID-19 and stockpiling.
Deficiency has been the worst for children with allergies, digestive problems and metabolic disorders based on special formulas. According to federal officials, the Abbott factory is the sole source of many of these products and feeds about 5,000 babies in the United States.
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Abbott is one of four companies that produce about 90% of the US formula. The recall and closure of the company had a number of impacts: Retailers restricted customer purchases to save on supplies, and told parents to change brands regardless of the formula in stock.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf recently told lawmakers that it could take about two months for formula supplies to return to normal. The agency has waived many regulatory requirements to adopt more formulas from the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries.
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U.S. manufacturers, including Reckitt and Gerber, have also increased production, operating plants 24/7, and getting more formula from alternative devices.
Child formula deficiency 2022: The plant associated with recall is restarted
Source link Child formula deficiency 2022: The plant associated with recall is restarted