May 19, 2022 - Health

'Operation Fly Formula' to import first batch of baby formula amid shortage

baby formula
Processed breast milk awaiting distribution is seen at the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington as the US struggles with a shortage of baby formula May 19, 2022, in Washington, DC. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Defense will be using its contracts with commercial air cargo to transport Nestlé S.A. formula from Switzerland to Indiana and to help speed up the import of infant formula amid a nationwide shortage, the White House said Thursday.

Driving the news: The effort, dubbed Operation Fly Formula, is the latest in a series of steps taken by the Biden administration to address a shortage that is causing panic among millions of parents and caregivers in the U.S.

The details: The Operation Fly Formula shipments will transport the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas — Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA — the White House said.

  • These three products are hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergy and have been prioritized because they are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure.
  • These shipments will include approximately 246 pallets.
  • The DOD is actively working on the request to identify commercial aircraft for the shipments, the White House said.

President Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to address the baby formula shortage, requiring suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers, in an effort to eliminate production bottlenecks.

Go deeper: Why is there a baby formula shortage and what can be done about it

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