Biden invokes Defense Production Act to address baby formula shortage in US
Suppliers must provide resources for formula production
President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday to address a severe baby formula shortage in the US.
The 1950 law allows the federal government to direct manufacturing production for national defense.
According to a White House news release, the Biden administration would use the Cold War-era law to require suppliers to "direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good."
In this case, Biden will prioritize key ingredients for formula production and compel suppliers to provide the needed resources to those manufacturers.
“Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up supply chains,” the release continued.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started warning consumers against buying certain powdered infant formula products back in February after a string of bacterial infections tied to the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan. Four infants became sick and two of them died.
Abbott Nutrition has denied any wrongdoing, but massive recalls of its baby formula products have caused panic across America.
Biden also initiated a program that will use US military aircraft to import formula from abroad.
"Operation Fly Formula" will direct the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture to use Defense Department commercial aircraft to fly in approved baby formula from other countries.
That baby formula from overseas must meet US standards to get the product quickly back on store shelves.
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