President Joe Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to combat an ongoing shortage of baby formula, requiring firms to offer supplies to formula manufacturers before another customer, the White House announced Wednesday.
Biden can be launching what the administration is looking “Operation Fly Formula,” which authorizes Defense Department aircraft to choose up formula from overseas and convey it to the USA. Members of Congress in each parties had called on Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to assist alleviate the shortage in recent weeks.
The 2 steps are the most recent moves the White Home is making to finish a situation that worsened after a serious baby formula manufacturer’s plant in Michigan issued a recall and was later shut down.
4 infants were hospitalized with bacterial infections after consuming formula from the Michigan plant owned by Abbott Labs. Two of the babies died.
“The President is moving swiftly and forcefully,” White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese wrote on Twitter. “These are major actions that can help minimize the disruption from the Abbott infant formula plant shutdown to the best extent possible.”
Increasing imports seems the likeliest short-term method to increase supply in the USA, and the Food and Drug Administration announced an expedited process to approve additional imports earlier this week. Allowing the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to make use of military aircraft to ship the formula ― as a substitute of counting on business aircraft ― should help formula arrive on store shelves faster.
The White House and the formula producing industry have said formula production is higher than it was before the recall, but store shelves across the country remain bare and lots of major retailers are limiting formula sales to stop hoarding.
Senate Democrats are pressuring Biden to call a degree person on the formula crisis. Led by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), 30 senators wrote to the president on Wednesday asking him to call an official policy coordinator and create a national technique to cope with the crisis.
“We’d like organized leadership and a transparent plan for addressing this crisis,” the senators wrote. “We cannot stop working on this issue until babies are fed.”