Abbott Halting Baby-Formula Production at Plant in Michigan After Floods
© AP Photo / Gregory BullPasteurized donor human milk sits in a refrigerator at the University of California Health Milk Bank, Friday, May 13, 2022, in San Diego. The U.S. baby formula shortage has sparked a surge of interest among moms who want to donate breast milk to help bridge the supply gap as well as those seeking to keep their babies fed.
© AP Photo / Gregory Bull
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Abbott Laboratories is halting baby-formula production at its factory in the city of Sturgis, Michigan, after recent thunderstorms flooded part of the facility, the company said as the country grapples with formula shortage.
"Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area .... As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant," Abbott said on Wednesday.
The company has contacted the Food and Drug Administration about the issue.
"[We] will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production. This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks," it added.
The US has been suffering from a baby formula shortage since Abbot initiated a product recall in February over concerns that bacterial contamination at a facility in Michigan may have contributed to the death of two infants and several other cases of illnesses.
In May, the Biden administration 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. By June 19, Operation Fly Formula flights will have imported nearly 13 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of infant formula from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, according to the White House.