The baby formula shortage across the US should begin to ease ‘within days’, according to a top US regulator.
Parents struggling to find formula ‘should begin to see improvement’ in stores, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf told lawmakers on Thursday.
Manufacturers boosting production and military aircrafts importing supply will provide parents with relief soon, he said.
‘We’re pulling a bunch of levers at the same time,’ said Califf while testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee.
His statement comes a day after President to boost baby formula supply. The 1950 law allows the federal government to order manufacturing production for the purpose of national defense. Biden also launched Operation Fly Formula to use US military aircraft to import formula from other nations that meets US standards.
The baby formula shortage began with pandemic supply chain issues and was exacerbated when major formula maker, Abbott, shuttered its largest domestic plant in Sturgis, Michigan. The closure came after the FDA in February began investigating bacterial infections in babies who consumed the formula, including two who died.
Meanwhile, Abbott stated that it conducted its own review finding ‘no evidence’ linking its formula to children getting sick.
On Monday, the to restart production at its Sturgis factory. The plan apparently includes steps Abbott must follow.
Also this week, a report emerged that in Tennessee earlier this month due to the formula shortage.
The FDA is working with Abbott to reopen its facility and the process is ‘going well’, Califf said.
‘Abbott has remediated a number of the issues, and we’re going to make sure it gets done as quick as possible,’ he said. ‘Within days it will get better, but it will be a few weeks until we’re back to normal.’
Califf added that Abbott’s factory must be operating again before the baby formula shortage is truly remedied nationwide.
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