ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to increase infant formula supply

Biden also directed U.S. agencies to use Defense Department commercial aircraft to bring formula into the United States from overseas.

USA-BIDEN/
President Joe Biden checks his watch after arriving at the White House following an interagency briefing on hurricane preparedness Wednesday at Joint Base Andrews, in Washington.
Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters
We are part of The Trust Project.

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden took steps on Wednesday to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States, invoking the Defense Production Act to help manufacturers obtain the ingredients needed to ramp up supply, the White House said.

Biden also directed U.S. agencies to use Defense Department commercial aircraft to bring formula into the United States from overseas.

Baby formula aisles at U.S. supermarkets have been decimated since top U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories in February recalled formulas after complaints of bacterial infections.

On Monday, Abbott said it had reached an agreement with the U.S. health regulator to resume production of baby formula at its Michigan plant, a major step toward resolving the nationwide shortage.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Biden noted that the industry should be producing more formula in the coming weeks and months.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Imports of baby formula will serve as a bridge to this ramped-up production. Therefore I am requesting you take all appropriate measures available to get additional safe formula into the country immediately," he said.

The White House said Biden was invoking the Defense Production Act to ensure manufacturers have the ingredients to make safe formula.

"The president is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good," the White House said.

In addition, he launched "Operation Fly Formula" to hasten imports of infant formula and get more formula to stores quickly.

Biden has directed HHS and USDA to use military commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards.

"Bypassing regular air freighting routes will speed up the importation and distribution of formula and serve as an immediate support as manufacturers continue to ramp up production," the White House said.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
Authorities said the suspect fired more than 70 rounds from a rooftop at random onto people watching Monday's parade in Highland Park, Illinois, and then made his getaway dressed in women's clothing to blend in with the panic-stricken crowd, authorities said on Tuesday.
Miki Sudo reclaims women’s crown
Officials told a news conference that six people were killed and 24 taken to hospital, and that a rifle was recovered from the scene.
Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley made the request in a July 1 letter to Hogan, noting that Maryland law prohibits people from intentionally assembling “in a manner that disrupts a person’s right to tranquility in the person’s home.”