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Baby Formula Maker Reaches Agreement with FDA to Resume Production and Ease Shortage


After production restarts at Abbott's plant in Michigan, it will take six to eight weeks for the powdered milk to be available in stores. The company did not specify exactly when it might start.

The Abbott company, which makes baby formula, announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with the country's health agency to restart production at its largest factory, although it will be more than a month before it reaches store shelves. and alleviate the shortage that parents have faced.

Abbott did not immediately detail the terms of the agreement with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety issues at the Sturgis, Michigan, plant since earlier this year.

An FDA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment about the Monday afternoon announcement.

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After production resumes, it will take six to eight weeks for the new products to be available in stores.

The company did not set a timetable for restarting production.

The FDA is also expected to announce additional measures Monday to allow more imports of the baby formula.

It comes as President Joe Biden's administration faces intense pressure to do more to ease a shortage that has left many parents searching for formula online or at food banks.

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Katie Wussler, program coordinator at the Center for Mother and Child Education, compares a donated can of Similac infant formula to a list of recalled cans on May 12, 2022, in Portland, Ore. Nathan Howard/Getty Images

The Abbott plant has been under investigation by health authorities since earlier this year for four infections with the bacteria that cause salmonella, linked to powdered formula produced at the plant.

Two of the babies died.

In February, the company halted production and recalled several brands of milk powder, compounding shortages of the product at a time when the coronavirus pandemic had already disrupted supply and storage chains.

As a result, retailers such as CVS and Walgreen's limited the number of cans customers could purchase and reduced supplies that had already been reduced due to supply chain and warehousing disruptions during COVID-19.

The shortage has prompted retailers such as CVS and Walgreen's to limit the number of containers customers can buy per visit.

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Abbott is one of four companies that produce about 90% of baby formula in the United States, and its brands account for nearly half of that market.

Following a six-week inspection, FDA investigators released a list of problems in March, including lax health and safety standards and a history of bacterial contamination in various parts of the plant.

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Abbott, which is based in Chicago, has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to bacterial infections in children.

Samples of the bacteria found at his plant did not match the strains the researchers collected from the babies who got sick.

The company had already stated on several occasions that it was ready to resume production and was only waiting for FDA approval.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-05-17

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