Some Abbott specialty baby formulas expected in stores later this month
Abbott Nutrition announced Saturday it restarted specialty infant formula production at its Sturgis, Michigan, facility, which was shut down earlier this year following a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall.
Why it matters: The new supply may help ease a critical baby formula shortage in the U.S., though the company said the release of newly produced specialty formula to consumers won't happen until "beginning on or about" June 20.
The baby formula shortage started in 2021, following production problems and distribution issues stemming from the pandemic. But it was significantly exacerbated when Abbott, one of the largest suppliers of baby formula in the U.S., recalled several of its major brands.
- Abbott entered into an agreement with the FDA in May to restart the plant under the condition that it make corrections to the facility. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) is investigating how the FDA handled the Abbott recall that impacted the Michigan plant.
- FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in May that the formula shortage could persist into July.
What they're saying: "Abbott is starting production of EleCare and other specialty and metabolic formulas, with initial EleCare product release to consumers beginning on or about June 20," the company said.
- "We're also working hard to fulfill the steps necessary to restart production of Similac and other formulas and will do so as soon as we can."
The big picture: In response to the shortage, the U.S. started flying in foreign formula shipments, while President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to increase supply.
- The Senate Finance Committee announced in May that is investigating Abbott's tax practices and recent stock buybacks.