Manufacturers of baby food received priority over other buyers of the necessary ingredients.
Joe Biden took steps to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States. The president took advantage of the provisions of the Defense Manufacturing Act to help manufacturers obtain the ingredients needed to increase supplies, the White House said.
Biden also instructed federal agencies to use Department of Defense commercial aircraft to deliver formula milk to the United States from abroad.
The range of infant formula on the shelves of American supermarkets has significantly decreased after in February, the largest manufacturer Abbott Laboratories recalled a large batch of baby food due to quality problems.
Abbott announced on Monday that it had reached an agreement with the health regulator to resume infant formula production at its Michigan plant, an important step toward addressing shortages nationwide.
In a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Joe Biden stressed that in the coming weeks and months, the industry should increase the production of infant formula.
“The import of infant formula will serve as a bridge to increase production. Therefore, I ask you to take all necessary measures to immediately import additional safe mixtures into the country,” the president’s message reads.
The White House said Biden applied the provisions of the Defense Manufacturing Act to ensure manufacturers receive ingredients for the production of high-quality baby food.
“The president demands that suppliers send the necessary resources to manufacturers of infant formula before any other buyers who could order this product,” the White House said in a statement. In addition, the White House announced the launch of Operation Fly Formula to speed up the import of infant formula and promptly deliver them to stores across the country.
Biden instructed the Ministry of Health and Human Services and the Ministry of Agriculture to use military transport planes to purchase infant formulas abroad that meet American standards in the field of health and safety.
This will “accelerate the import and distribution of infant formula and will serve as direct support as manufacturers continue to increase output,” the White House added.