When Abbott Laboratories, one of the largest manufacturers of baby formula in the U.S., closed a facility in Michigan in February after the Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating links between infants who contracted bacterial infections, which may led to two deaths, and formula, it was because of
A report from the USDA found that Abbott accounted for 42% of total market sales due to strict regulations from the FDA.
The FDA warned consumers in February not to use certain formulas produced in Abbott's facility in Michigan, as it investigated reports that several children who contracted serious bacterial infections from Cronobacter sakazakii andSalmonella had links to the formula.
Abbott shut down the Michigan facility after issuing a voluntary recall for some of its products.
In March, the FDA released initial findings of its investigation, stemming from in-person inspections of the plant that started in late January, which included a history of contamination with the cronobacterbacteria.
The FDA noted in a statement that there were a limited number of samples that were tested and that there were no Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella positives.
Abbott Laboratories' shares are down by more than 22% this year.
The FDA began inspecting the Michigan facility months before the recall was issued, after a former Abbott employee sent them concerns about the facility. The FDA did not interview the person until late December.
In the first week of May, the out-of-stock percentage for baby formula was over 40%. At the start of April, the percentage was 30%.
4. That's how many major companies make baby formula for sale in the US.
Abbott said in a statement that it could resume production in the Michigan facility within two weeks after receiving permission from the FDA. It takes about six to eight weeks to reach shelves once production begins.
The FDA is working around the clock to address the formula shortage, and President Joe Biden is getting involved, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden will speak with retailers and formula manufacturers on Thursday before announcing new actions to address the shortage.
What is behind America's baby-formula shortage? The Atlantic
The Wall Street Journal reported that baby formula shortages could last months.
Abbott could restart infant formula production in two weeks.
The FDA was warned about the formula plant months before the baby deaths.