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Biden administration taking logistical steps to support infant formula shortage

Biden administration taking logistical steps to support infant formula shortage


“The White House continues to discuss with four major infant formula manufacturers, Lekit Benquiser, Abbott, Nestlé / Gerber and Perigo, to increase production of formula in the United States: transportation, logistics, and We are identifying supplier hurdles-and FDA-approved facilities increase the amount and speed of FDA-approved milk powder shipped domestically, ensuring that milk powder moves quickly from the factory to the retailer. “We will,” said a White House official.

CNN reported on Monday The Biden administration is faced with a concentration of questions and criticisms about the nationwide shortage of infant formula with parents of anxiety and anger flying from store to store in search of baby food. The administration has provided a new website, exercise brought an apology customer service representative, to provide resources to families in need, but when CNN reporters tested some of those options. The main suggestions listed on the new HHS website.
White House Officials said they are also “continuously communicating” with Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart and other major retailers. Retailers need to implement more schemes in these regions of the country, including US Government transportation and logistics support. “
President Joe Biden held a virtual conference on Thursday under the leadership of Target and Wal-Mart As a formula maker Reckitt Benkeiser and Gerber respectively. Since then, people have been “closely communicating to follow up on those conversations,” according to people familiar with the matter.

There are also efforts to strengthen the supply chain by working with suppliers of formula milk manufacturers.

“We also contacted the supplier of infant formula and told them that materials are important to promote the production of infant formula in the United States and that production and delivery should be prioritized.” Officials say.

When appearing on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, U.S. Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Robert Caliph said the U.S. Commissioner of Food and Drugs “is doing everything possible” to resolve the shortfall. ..

Caliph pointed out efforts to work with manufacturers to increase production, work on the supply chain, and work closely with Abbott to open closed factories as soon as possible. He suggested that the FDA would make prescriptions for other countries available in the United States in a series of expected announcements “by the end of today’s day.”

He emphasized how much impact the move would have, saying the situation would “improve gradually” in “a few weeks.” This Thursday, Caliph testifies in front of the Agricultural Budget Subcommittee on the FDA’s 2023 budget requirements and monitoring of infant formula.

The shortage of infant formula was exacerbated by the FDA’s closure of the Abbott nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan, the country’s largest formula factory.

Four infants who drank factory-produced milk powder were reportedly ill due to a rare and serious infection caused by Cronobacter sakazaki, and production was stopped at the facility in February. .. Two babies have died.Whistleblowers too Detailed allegations to the FDA Abbott shows that it hid safety issues months before the infant formula was recovered in February.

HHS Secretary Xavier Besera refused to provide details, saying “Abbott will tell you the timeline” at CNN on Monday as supply was forced to return to normal.

Becerra confirmed that the federal government is working with the company to address the safety concerns raised by them, “it needs to be completed within a few weeks.”

“We do not operate their factories. They are the only ones who can address the safety concerns identified by our inspections. They have been working on this for some time and we have them. “I advise you what you need to do,” Besera told CNN’s Kate Bolduan, “at this time.”

“We do everything we can. Pull all the levers as much as possible to help them move as fast as possible, but they control their plant. They own it and Manipulate. They are the ones that have to be fixed. “”

Abbott said last week that production could resume at the Michigan facility within two weeks of waiting for FDA approval, but it could take a few more weeks before prescriptions are available on the shelves.

At CNN, Besera also defended the administration’s response to Abbott’s recalls and complaints, saying “we are acting as quickly as possible.”

“The FDA is moving at a deliberate speed to make sure there is sufficient evidence for any drastic action that encourages manufacturers to remove products from the shelves. It will take some time, “he said. ..

This story has been updated with additional reports.

CNN’s Brenda Goodman and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.




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