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First baby formula shipment arrives from Europe on U.S. military plane

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A military cargo plane carrying the primary shipment of infant formula from Europe to deal with a critical shortage in the USA landed in Indianapolis on Sunday.

A Feb. 17 recall by top baby formula maker Abbott Laboratories and the closing of its manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan have created certainly one of the largest infant formula shortages in recent history for U.S. families.

President Joe Biden’s administration is searching for to stock empty shelves with 1.5 million containers of Nestle specialty infant formulas. Biden last week invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to assist increase supplies.

The Sunday plane is carrying 78,000 kilos (35,380 kg) of specialty infant formula, the White House said.

“There’s about enough formula on that plane, specialty medical grade formula, for a few half 1,000,000 bottles. That is about 15% of the general national volume this coming week,” White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told Fox News Sunday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was there to greet the plane.

Abbott, the largest U.S. supplier of powder infant formula, closed its Michigan plant following reports of bacterial infections in 4 infants, worsening a shortage amongst multiple manufacturers that began with pandemic supply-chain issues.

Abbott Chief Executive Robert Ford apologized for the formula shortage on Sunday and promised to repair it, adding that the plant could be reopened in the primary week of June, and it will take six-to-eight weeks for products to achieve store shelves.

“We’re sorry to each family we have let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s baby formula shortage,” Ford wrote in an opinion column published within the Washington Post.

Ford said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation didn’t find links between the formula production area of the Michigan facility and 4 cases of sick children but that it did find evidence of bacteria present.

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