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FDA knew of baby formula contamination concerns months before recall

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COVID-19-related supply chain challenges, workforce issues, hoarding parents, and an Abbott Laboratories safety recall have made it difficult for retailers to stock baby formula, and some retailers have even placed limits on formula orders. According to Bloomberg, a report from the Food and Drug Administration indicates federal inspectors discovered the potential for baby formula to become contaminated at an Abbott Laboratories plant in September 2021, months before the February 2022 recall.

Parents have been dealing with the national baby formula shortage for months, and Congress will investigate the matter later this month. While Abbott is working to resume production at one facility and ramp up production at others, importing formula from overseas producers is likely too challenging due to labeling requirements.

MAHMOUD BENNETT: THE BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE IS NOW A NATIONAL CRISIS.  

AND WHILE THE SEARCH IS ON FOR SOLUTIONS – THERE’S ALSO A LOT OF FINGER-POINTING AT THE FDA.

A NEW REPORT SHOWS FEDERAL INSPECTORS FOUND CONTAMINATION AT AN ABBOT FACTORY. SINCE ABBOT IS THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF BABY FORMULA IN THE COUNTRY, A RECALL HELPED LEAD TO A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE.

PRODUCTION SHUT DOWN AND MONTHS LATER – THE COMPANY IS STILL GETTING BACK UP TO SPEED. 

COMBINE THAT WITH SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS – AND YOU GET A LOT OF STORE SHELVES LOOKING LIKE THIS. 

SO CAN’T WE JUST IMPORT MORE? NOT REALLY

FDA REGULATIONS ARE SO STRINGENT THAT MOST OF THE STUFF THAT COMES OUT OF EUROPE OR ANY OTHER PART OF THE WORLD IS ILLEGAL TO IMPORT – MOSTLY OVER LABELING REQUIREMENTS

ONE STUDY FOUND THAT MANY EUROPEAN BABY FORMULAS MEET AND OFTEN *EXCEED* FDA STANDARDS

BUT U.S. CUSTOMS AGENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO SEIZE THEM AT THE BORDER

THE WHITE HOUSE NOW SAYS THEY’RE TAKING STEPS TO ALLOW IMPORTS FROM ABROAD

AND WORKING WITH MANUFACTURERS TO ADDRESS THE NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE

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COVID-19-related supply chain challenges, workforce issues, hoarding parents, and an Abbott Laboratories safety recall have made it difficult for retailers to stock baby formula, and some retailers have even placed limits on formula orders. According to Bloomberg, a report from the Food and Drug Administration indicates federal inspectors discovered the potential for baby formula to become contaminated at an Abbott Laboratories plant in September 2021, months before the February 2022 recall.

Parents have been dealing with the national baby formula shortage for months, and Congress will investigate the matter later this month. While Abbott is working to resume production at one facility and ramp up production at others, importing formula from overseas producers is likely too challenging due to labeling requirements.

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