AP

US to diversify infant formula industry to avoid shortages

Jul 6, 2022, 10:47 AM | Updated: Jul 7, 2022, 2:02 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is trying to help foreign makers of baby formula stay on the U.S. market for the long term, in an effort to diversify the industry after the closure of the largest domestic plant sparked a nationwide shortage.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced plans to help overseas producers that have sent supplies to the United States, under emergency approval to address the shortfall, secure long-term authorization to market their formula in the U.S.

The agency will provide a way for producers temporarily selling in the U.S. to meet existing regulatory requirements so they can stay on the market, providing consumers with more choices and making supplies more resilient against current and future shortages.

The FDA will also host meetings and provide producers with a single point of contact to work through the regulatory system to make the application process more efficient.

“The need to diversify and strengthen the U.S. infant formula supply is more important than ever,” said the FDA commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, and Susan Mayne, the director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a statement. “The recent shutdown of a major infant formula plant, compounded by unforeseen natural weather events, has shown just how vulnerable the supply chain has become.”

The U.S. has tried to boost supply of baby formula after regulators in February shuttered a Michigan plant run by Abbott, the largest domestic manufacturer of baby formula, over safety concerns. The plant reopened June 4 after the company committed to additional sanitizing and safety protocols, but closed again in mid-June after severe weather caused damage to the plant.

The company said it needs time to assess damage and sanitize the factory again after severe thunderstorms and heavy rains swept through southwestern Michigan on June 13.

In May, the FDA eased federal import regulations to allow baby formula to be shipped to the U.S., and President Joe Biden authorized the use of the Defense Production Act, providing federal support to get formula from overseas into the U.S.

The White House said that by this coming Sunday, its efforts will have brought 43 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of infant formula into the U.S. and FDA has cleared the equivalent of 400 million 8-ounce bottles for import into the U.S.

“Infant formula is an essential food product that is the sole source of nutrition for many babies in the U.S. Companies and their manufacturing facilities must meet rigorous FDA standards that ensure the formula is both safe and nutritious,” Califf and Mayne said. “These standards are necessary to protect our children and will not be sacrificed for long-term supply considerations.”

The FDA’s policy of temporary enforcement discretion is set to expire in November, but the administration says it will renew it if necessary to ensure domestic supply.

“Today’s announcement by the FDA will help ensure the infant formula supply market is less vulnerable to future supply shocks and will provide families with the confidence of steady access to a variety of safe infant formulas,” said White House spokesman Kevin Munoz.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

1 day ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

2 days ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

2 days ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

4 days ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

4 days ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

US to diversify infant formula industry to avoid shortages