President Biden Invokes Defense Production Act Amid Formula Shortage

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up baby formula production amid the nationwide shortage that has affected thousands of families.

On Wednesday evening, President Biden enforced the act for suppliers to send ingredients to baby formula manufacturers before other companies place orders for similar orders.

According to CNBC, it is unclear which major suppliers are listed to follow the order. The DPA allows the president to have the authority to ask companies to prioritize the manufacturing and production of goods during a nationwide crisis.

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“Today, I’m invoking what they call the Defense Production Act to ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make safe, healthy infant formula here at home.”

 

Additionally, the Health and Human Services Department and Department of Agriculture were asked by Biden to use aircraft from the Defense Department to pick up baby formula from overseas that meets the U.S. health and safety regulations.

The act was previously invoked during Donald Trump’s presidency to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The formula shortage occurred after Abbott Nutrition closed its plant in Sturgis, Michigan after the products became contaminated with bacteria and caused four infants to fall ill. Two of the infants died due to bacterial infections.

A recall was issued in February of powdered formula brands that were affected by the bacterial contamination. The brands were Abbott, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestle USA, and Perrigo and they were affected when Abbott was shut down due to bacterial infections.

“Abbott has been working on corrective actions since the FDA inspection and submitted a response and corrective action plan to FDA on April 8. Even before its formal response, Abbott had begun working to implement improvements and take corrective action. Some of these actions included reviewing and updating education, training and safety procedures for both employees and visitors, as well as updating protocols regarding water, cleaning and maintenance procedures at the facility. Abbott immediately implemented corrections to address the items that the FDA raised in its observations provided at the conclusion of the inspection. The company has also been making upgrades to the plant.” the company said in a statement.

It was also reported that the FDA is increasing imports from other countries to relieve the shortage but companies are required to submit an application to the agency. The agency will then look over the application to see if the ingredients are safe and healthy for infants in the United States.

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