News Update

Abbott plant pauses baby formula production due to severe weather

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Abbott Nutrition, whose Michigan plant has been at the center of the ongoing baby formula shortage, has had to halt production at the plant for the second time this year. This time, the pause was due to severe weather that hit the area earlier this week.

“Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area,” Abbott said in a statement. “As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant.”

According to the statement, parts of the plant suffered flooding from the storms. Abbott said the damage assessment and re-sanitizing process “will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks.”

“Based upon historical demand and current projections, Abbott has ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available,” Abbott said. “Abbott will have produced 8.7 million pounds of infant formula in June for the U.S., or the equivalent of 168.2 million 6 oz. feedings. This is 95% of what we produced in January.”

January was the last month the Abbott plant was fully open. In February, the plant shut down in connection to an FDA investigation. The investigation followed reports of contaminated formula that was linked to the deaths of at least two infants.

The plant had just reopened earlier this month. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf commented on the latest pause in baby formula production at the Abbott plant in a series of Tweets Thursday night.

“While this is an unfortunate setback and a reminder that natural weather events can also cause unforeseen supply chain disruptions, I want to reassure consumers the all-of-government work to increase supply means we’ll have more than enough product to meet current demand,” Dr. Califf said. “Making sure that parents and caregivers have access to both safe and available infant formula remains a top priority for the FDA, and our teams are working night and day to help make that happen.”

The Associated Press contributed to that report.

Jimmie Johnson: LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER PRODUCTION OF BABY FORMULA RESUMED AT THE ABBOTT PLANT IN MICHIGAN – IT WAS FORCED TO STOP AGAIN.
THIS TIME– DUE TO MOTHER NATURE.
ABBOTT MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT LAST NIGHT –SAYING STRONG STORMS
PACKING HEAVY RAIN, HIGH WINDS AND HAIL WERE TO BLAME.
ABBOTT SAYS IT NEEDS TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE — INCLUDING POSSIBLE FLOODING — AND RE-SANITIZE THE FACTORY BEFORE RESUMING PRODUCTION.
THAT PROCESS COULD TAKE WEEKS.
THE GOOD NEWS — ABBOTT SAYS THEY HAVE ENOUGH SUPPLY TO MEET DEMAND.

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Abbott Nutrition, whose Michigan plant has been at the center of the ongoing baby formula shortage, has had to halt production at the plant for the second time this year. This time, the pause was due to severe weather that hit the area earlier this week.

“Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area,” Abbott said in a statement. “As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant.”

According to the statement, parts of the plant suffered flooding from the storms. Abbott said the damage assessment and re-sanitizing process “will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks.”

“Based upon historical demand and current projections, Abbott has ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available,” Abbott said. “Abbott will have produced 8.7 million pounds of infant formula in June for the U.S., or the equivalent of 168.2 million 6 oz. feedings. This is 95% of what we produced in January.”

January was the last month the Abbott plant was fully open. In February, the plant shut down in connection to an FDA investigation. The investigation followed reports of contaminated formula that was linked to the deaths of at least two infants.

The plant had just reopened earlier this month. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf commented on the latest pause in baby formula production at the Abbott plant in a series of Tweets Thursday night.

“While this is an unfortunate setback and a reminder that natural weather events can also cause unforeseen supply chain disruptions, I want to reassure consumers the all-of-government work to increase supply means we’ll have more than enough product to meet current demand,” Dr. Califf said. “Making sure that parents and caregivers have access to both safe and available infant formula remains a top priority for the FDA, and our teams are working night and day to help make that happen.”

The Associated Press contributed to that report.

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