Abbott plant that exacerbated US formula shortage reopens

Washington.- The production plant that Abbottthe leading manufacturer of formula milk for babies in USAmaintained in Sturgis (Michigan), was reactivated after a closure of several months that has aggravated the problems of shortage of the product in the country, the company reported this Saturday.

Abbott announced last May that it had reached a settlement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reopen the Michigan factory as soon as possible, which was closed after at least four babies suffered a bacterial infection and two of them died after consuming milk produced at the plant.

The FDA found health problems at the site, so the Abbott factory in Michigan it had to close in February and the company withdrew several of its products from the market.

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Since then, supply problems have left many parents unable to find infant formula in supermarkets across the country, an issue that has become a weapon of war between Republicans and Democrats.

Abbott explained in a statement that it will prioritize the production of powdered milk for babies with food allergies and digestion problems, for whom there are few nutritional alternatives.

The reopening of the plant is one of the measures that the president of the United States, Joe Bidenpromised to take before the shortage of the product.

In mid-May, Biden authorized the Defense Department to use its contracts with commercial airlines to import powdered milk from anywhere in the world.

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The president also invoked a law dating from the Cold War to accelerate the production of that dairy food in the United States.

The most affected are children with food allergies or digestive problems, since Abbott is the only company that produces formula specifically designed for these cases.

In the United States, 4 companies produce about 90% of infant formula, which has exacerbated a shortage caused, in part, by global supply problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.

Despite the reopening of the Michigan plant, authorities have already warned that it will still take about two months before the supply of infant formula returns to its usual level.

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