U.S. FDA to make import of certain infant formulas easy amid shortage

By bfnadmin  | Date: 2022-05-17

      
    U.S. FDA to make import of certain infant formulas easy amid shortage
                    In a bid to address a nationwide shortage of baby formulas, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has reportedly announced that it will facilitate and simplify the import of certain kind of formulas.

According to the federal agency, the U.S. generally produces 98% of infant formulas it consumes, while also importing them from Ireland, Mexico, and the Netherlands. However, due to the ongoing storage, the agency is outlining a process wherein it would not object to the import of certain formulas intended for a foreign markets, including the distribution of products made domestically to be exported to other countries.

Infant formula companies that seek to leverage the new flexibilities are expected to submit information on nutritional adequacy, safety testing, facility inspection history, and labeling of their products for evaluation, the agency added.

The White House is reportedly in talks with four major infant formula makers, namely Perrigo, Nestle/Gerber, Abbott, and Reckitt, to collaborate and identify supplier, logistical, and transportation hurdles and increase production at FDA-approved facilities.

The joint effort is also geared towards boosting the shipment of FDA-approved formulas into the country to ensure adequate availability for retailers and customers.

Furthermore, the White House is also in discussion with major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target to identify regions that are at risk of critically low infant formula supply.

For the uninitiated, the shortage of baby formulas in the U.S. has been exacerbated after the shutdown of the Abbott Nutrition facility in Michigan.

Production was halted at the facility in February this year due to serious and rare infections caused by a bacterium, Cronobacter sakazakii, among four infants who consumed formulas produced in this plant. So far, two of the infants who consumed formulas from this facility and contracted the infection have died.

However, a trial conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA later discovered that the genetic sequences of the bacteria samples from the Michigan plant did not match the bacteria isolated from the formula consumed by the sick children.

Consequently, Abbott recently revealed that it could restart infant formula production within two weeks.

Source credit: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/16/politics/baby-formula-biden-administration-steps/index.html	

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