Biden Invokes Defense Production Act to Boost Supply of Baby Formula in US Amid Shortage

© AP Photo / Chris CarlsonA sign is posted at a CVS pharmacy indicating a shortage in the availability of baby food Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C.
A sign is posted at a CVS pharmacy indicating a shortage in the availability of baby food Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost production of infant formula and to use US military cargo airplanes in order to expedite overseas shipments of the product, the White House said.
"To ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home, President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA)," White House said in a press release on Wednesday. "The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good."
Biden has also directed his administration to use US military cargo aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula so the product can get to US stores faster, the release added.
The US House of Representatives will vote on a bill on Wednesday night to provide $28 million to the US Food and Drug Administration to help address the infant formula shortage and to prevent future shortages.
The Democrats have also urged Biden to assign a coordinator to work with key manufacturers of infant formula and to oversee a nationwide strategy.

On Monday, Abbott Nutrition - the largest infant formula manufacturer in the country - said that it reached a deal with the US Food and Drug Administration to resume production of its infant formula in the state of Michigan after it was shutdown by the federal government over contamination concerns.
Grocery store shelves where baby formula is typically stocked are locked and nearly empty in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.05.2022
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On February 17, Abbott Nutrition initiated a voluntary recall of several lines of powdered formula. This came after concerns about bacterial contamination at Abbott’s Michigan facility after four infants fell ill and two died. The company said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded its investigation into the contamination issues and found no link between Abbott's infant formula and the babies that became ill.
The baby formula shortage has been developing for many months but has become more acute since the end of February. The White House has said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to end the crisis.
The US House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on May 25 to discuss the shortages, focusing on understanding the root causes and exploring options to increase production and supply.
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