Infant formula maker Abbott have reached an agreement with U.S. health officials to restart production at its largest domestic factory, hoping to ease a nationwide shortage tied to the plant’s shutdown earlier this year. The terms of the agreement reached with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety problems at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility, were not immediately disclosed by Abbott.
The Biden administration said the agreement not only serves to reopen the largest domestic manufacturing plant of infant formula, but will ease import rules to allow supplies from overseas. The consent decree is a binding legal agreement between the company and the federal government. Abbott has said it will take at least eight weeks to begin shipping new product to stores after production resumes.
The Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the last week to do more to ease the shortage of formula. Abbott’s plant came under scrutiny earlier this year after four infants became sick with bacterial infections after consuming powdered formula from the Michigan factory; two of those babies died. By February, the company halted production and recalled several brands of formula, which in turn strained the supply chain, causing disruptions and parents stockpiling.
Editorial credit: The Toidi / Shutterstock.com