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    by Eric Lendrum   An official with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that the reason the agency didn’t find a shocking whistleblower’s report on the baby formula shortage because the report was lost in the mailroom for at least four months. The New York Post reports that the 34-page document had been sent to the FDA back in October, claiming that an Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan was experiencing a shortage in product primarily due to increasingly unsanitary conditions. The FDA’s Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, admits he didn’t actually see the report until February. “It wasn’t sent to me and it wasn’t shared with me internally. How does this happen?” Yiannas said in an interview. “There were early signals and in any safety profession you want to take those seriously to stop the domino effect. That didn’t happen.” During those four months when the report went missing, at least four infants became ill, possibly as a direct result of the conditions at the Michigan plant. The deaths of two infants is being attributed...
    The ongoing shortage of baby formula is pulling back the curtain on the how government policies have led to certain manufacturers dominating the market, the harm from a slow-moving Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and federal regulations that stymy competition. Case in point, Abbott had a 40 percent market share before it shut down months ago after a dangerous bacteria outbreak. Abbott shut down its Michigan plant because of the outbreak, which resulted in the death of two infants and the recall of most of its products. But Abbott’s fate and the formula supply crisis is linked not only to disease but also the federal government’s policy to force states to pick one baby formula supplier. And the FDA is not exactly pro-active in allowing the free market to thrive, according to Yahoo Finance: Since 1989, federal law narrowed competition by requiring each U.S. state to choose a single company to supply formulas available to low-income families under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC. The program provides food for about half of all...
    Tennessee Governor Bill Lee led 18 other GOP governors in a letter to President Joe Biden to call for federal action on the ongoing baby formula shortage. The group produced examples of specific actions Biden could take in order to ease the burden on families across the country. For example, the letter advised Biden to suspend tariffs and other trade regulations on formulas coming from other countries. “As conditions continue to worsen, we call on you to take action that increases formula availability while also addressing underlying regulatory barriers. Baby formula is essential to 8.2 million Americans who regularly purchase liquid or powdered formula and the estimated 53% of infants aged three months old who receive formula at some point. After months of inaction, the out-of-stock rate for baby formula now stands at 40% nationwide and up to 50% in six of our states, a crisis exacerbated by surging inflation and the rising cost of consumer goods,” the governors wrote. “There is perhaps no singular source of nourishment more necessary for the welfare of our nation than the nutrition provided...
    by Scott McClallen   Abbott Nutrition said it plans to restart its baby formula plant in Sturgis on June 4 after a plethora of problems left shelves bare nationwide. The plant shutdown was compounded by supply chain issues, product recalls, and record 40-year high inflation. As of the week ending May 8, the company Datasembly reported the national out-of-stock rate for baby formula hit 43%. “Abbott plans to restart production at the Sturgis facility on June 4 and will prioritize EleCare production, with initial EleCare product release to consumers beginning on or about June 20,” the company said in a statement. The news follows a week after Abbott reached a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration to restart production of formula powder safely. Two babies died and others were sickened by a bacteria called cronobacter sakazakii, but Abbott has denied culpability. Results of an FDA investigation haven’t been made public. On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina M. Khan launched an inquiry into alleged “unfair” business practices in the baby formula market. “The FTC is launching a public inquiry to identify the factors...
    Vulnerable Democrat Rep. Kim Schrier (WA) walks a tightrope with President Joe Biden as she continues to play both sides, appearing with him when she deems his presence beneficial to her campaign and slamming his administration when she doesn’t. Schrier voiced her opinion this past weekend during an appearance on MSNBC’s Alex Witt Reports when she lambasted Biden over the baby formula shortage. “What the heck happened?” she asked, referring to Biden’s inaction on the shortage, noting that the product was recalled in February after four infants were hospitalized and that “bacterial infections may have contributed to death in two patients.” “Nothing was done,” she added. “You could have predicted in February that this would become an emergency, and we didn’t see anything happen in terms of stepping up, importing, and enacting the Defence Production Act, getting competitors to ramp up, until now.” This isn’t the first time observers have noticed Schrier’s inconsistent posture toward the president. Schrier was called out last month for criticizing Biden’s border policies despite having voted for several pieces of Biden-backed legislation relating to the border. So great to see everyone who...
    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a 'mailroom failure' are at least two contributing factors that have led to the nationwide baby formula shortage, the Food and Drug Administration claimed on Wednesday. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf laid out a series of setbacks that delayed the government's reaction to the worsening crisis, fueled by persisted supply chain disruptions and the shutdown of a baby formula manufacturing plant run by Abbott Nutrition.  'Our oversight is critical but make no mistake about it - the return to normal will only occur when Abbott takes the steps to resume production in a safe manner,' Califf said. He also could not give a clear answer when asked when conditions would be back to normal. 'This is a crisis, we're fully aware of it - families should not be searching for formula, but they have to do it now until we fill in,' he said. 'Several weeks out, we'll have a surplus of formula. When I say "several," I can't say exactly how many weeks.'  The Biden administration has been deflecting blame for the shortage by emphasizing the...
    [The stream is slated to start at 11 a.m. ET. Please refresh the page if you do not see a player above at that time.] The head of the Food and Drug Administration and executives from the infant formula industry are set to answer questions from House lawmakers Wednesday about the nationwide shortage that has left parents struggling to find food for their infants. The House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing will begin at 11 a.m. Lawmakers will question FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, FDA food policy chief Frank Yiannis, and the director of the FDA's food safety center Susan Mayne during the first portion of the hearing. The FDA has come under scrutiny from lawmakers for not acting quickly enough to inspect Abbott Nutrition's infant formula plant in Sturgis, Mich., after a whistleblower warned the agency in October about food safety violations at the plant. The FDA didn't initiate inspections of the plant until late January, ultimately finding Cronobacter – a bacteria that can cause a dangerous blood infection – at the facility. Four infants who consumed powdered formula from...
    Every morning, M.J. Jaafar goes online and scans through hundreds of postings trying to find baby formula for her three-month-old daughter. Most days, she comes up empty. Then Jaafar’s heart sinks and anger sets in when she encounters scams and price gouging that victimizes families already desperate to feed their babies. “It’s baffling and mind-blowing that people are using this crisis for infants to price gouge or scam people for money,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of hoarders too, people going to every store and buying all the formula you could find and selling it on Facebook." FTC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO INFANT FORMULA MARKET As the baby formula shortage intensified this month, families are turning to Facebook groups in desperation. Hundreds of groups exist in which people sell or donate formula, along with giving advice on how to survive the traumatic manufacturing disaster. Nearly half the nation’s formula is out of stock, primarily due to a shutdown of America’s largest manufacturer due to contamination. Now an entire industry of secondhand products has emerged as people come to the...
    (CNN)Congressional leaders will press baby formula manufacturers and government regulators at a hearing Wednesday in their efforts to find out what happened to the US baby formula supply and why it's taking so long to restock store shelves.In a background memo released in advance of the hearing, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, laid out a timeline of the crisis, which started with supply chain problems and worsened considerably after a nationwide recall and the shutdown of a manufacturing plant that produced nearly half the infant formula consumed in the United States.The memo says that as many as 75% of American caregivers partially depend on formula to provide nutrients to their infants up to 6 months of age. The shortage has been most acute for low-income families, those in rural areas and children with medical needs that limit the kinds of formulas they can drink. Abbott plans to restart plant at the heart of the baby formula recall on June 4Three companies manufacture 95% of the baby formula sold in the United...
    ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) –Nestle is teaming up with the federal government to help ease the baby formula shortage. The U.S. Air Force is flying in another shipment of formula from Germany and it’s expected to arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport Wednesday. The formula will then be taken to Nestle’s facility outside Allentown, Pennsylvania. It will be delivered to hospitals, WIC families, and retailers across the country. This formula is specifically for children who are allergic to cow’s milk.
    (CNN)Abbott Nutrition said Tuesday that it plans to restart work at the Sturgis, Michigan, plant at the heart of the nationwide baby formula recall on June 4, with the first batches of new formula expected to be available to consumers on or around June 20.When the plant resumes manufacturing formula, the company confirmed to the US Food and Drug Administration, it will start with EleCare and other specialty metabolic formulas. Abbott will also release about 300,000 cans of EleCare Specialty Formula on a case-by-case basis to people who need it urgently. This is an amino acid-based hypoallergenic product for babies who can't tolerate cow's milk in other formulas due to an intolerance or allergy. Baby formula arrives in Indianapolis from Germany on US military aircraft to address critical needThis formula was not a part of the company's recall earlier in the year, but it has been on hold at the Sturgis plant because the agency was concerned that it was produced under "insanitary conditions." The FDA said the formula will undergo enhanced testing to make sure it is safe.The formula...
    UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police are searching for the man who robbed a 90-year-old woman on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.It happened on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:45 p.m.The 90-year-old woman was walking on West 64th Street when a man approached her and took her purse from her walker.He followed her for a short time and then made his move, grabbing the bag.The purse snatcher then took off on foot.Fortunately, the woman was not injured.Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).ALSO READ | Homemade baby formula could be dangerous: What parents can do amid shortageEMBED More News Videos Experts warn against making your own baby formula and diluting baby formula if your supply is low. ----------* Get Eyewitness News Delivered * More Manhattan news* Send us a news tip* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts * Follow us on YouTube
    ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – There are a few extra cans of infant formula in Julia Walker’s apartment, but they won’t remain long. Walker, who has a 1 year old transitioning with formula, couldn’t find it when she needed it. “Got first-hand experience of just that dreaded feeling where your heart just sinks and you’re stressed out because it’s not on the shelf, and what you’re seeing on TV has become your reality,” she said. “We were trying to get her to go from formula to whole milk and you have to mix it… And there was none.” (credit: CBS) It wasn’t just her own pursuit of formula, but other moms. She got a call about a family taking in a new child with no formula to feed the baby. “As the days progressed, the need became more and more.” So the nonprofit she started to help feed people during the COVID pandemic, Hope, Connection and Community, pivoted. She will spend her days looking for formula to get to people and delivering it. “It’s chaotic. It’s a beautiful mess is what it...
    DANGEROUS homemade baby formula recipes are spreading on social media as the ongoing nationwide baby shortage sparks a crisis response from the federal government. The rapid explosion of unsafe home recipes for infant formula circulating online has left many concerned about dangerous health effects, triggering warnings from officials and experts. 2Amid a nationwide baby formula shortage caused in part by a product recall and factory shutdown has triggered a trend of viral videos with dangerous homemade formula recipesCredit: AFP 2The shortage has sparked a crisis-level response from the federal government, with the Biden administration flying formula in from Germany on SundayCredit: Getty In recent weeks, as news of the formula shortage spreads, videos advertising ways to make the essential dietary item are cropping up in droves on sites like YouTube and TikTok. While some social media companies have said they would slap warning notices on the videos, Bloomberg says the efforts have been “inconsistent.” “Major networks like Facebook, TikTok and YouTube have taken steps to label photos, videos and posts with contextual information pointing to the harms of such...
    In this article FDXEmpty shelves show a shortage of baby formula at a Target store in San Antonio, Texas, May 10, 2022.Kaylee Greenlee Beal | ReutersFedEx Express has secured a government contract to bring another shipment of infant formula to the U.S. on Wednesday, NBC News reported. The Express plane will fly from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. It's unclear how much formula the plane will carry. The move is meant to address a critical shortage of baby formula in the United States after top formula maker Abbott Laboratories closed a manufacturing plant following reports of bacterial infections in four infants. Abbott said it would take about two weeks to reopen the plant and up to eight weeks for products to hit the shelves nationwide. That's left a wide gap for scores of parents across the nation. In an effort to ease the burden, the Food and Drug Administration is increasing baby formula imports from other countries. The first shipment, carrying 78,000 pounds of specialty infant formula, arrived Sunday. President Joe Biden has...
    More than 70,000 pounds of baby formula arrived in the United States on Sunday via military aircraft, President Joe Biden announced, as his top economics adviser pledged stores could see replenished supplies 'as early as this week.' The shipment from the US military's Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the first in Biden's Operation Fly Formula program, aimed at ramping up international imports of baby formula to raise US supply.  It's one of several measures the president unveiled to mitigate the increasingly dire baby formula shortage that's plaguing Americans nationwide - which has already led to multiple reports of hospitalized children. 'Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana,' the president wrote on Twitter just before the plane touched down. 'Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it.' A White House official told CNN the first shipments will be distributed to parts of the country 'where the needs are...
    Republican Party adviser Scott Jennings was on the receiving end of some major pushback on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning when he attempted to make the case that President Joe Biden was responsible for the baby formula shortage that is afflicting American families. With Jennings lumping the formula shortage in with gas pricing and inflation for reasons for Biden's approval rating problems, he did mention a formula airlift coming from Germany arranged by the Biden administration which opened the door for co-panelist Bakari Sellers and former Biden speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum to fire back. In a flurry of crosstalk, Jenning claimed, "When you're out driving from store to store paying $5 a gallon, it doesn't feel very good," to which Sellers replied, "Your point falls on deaf ears when you have 132 Republicans, I believe it was, who voted against [a baby formula bill--]," at which point conservative Alyssa Farah Griffin jumped in with, "This bill was a bailout for the FDA for the same people who failed to actually deal with the Abbott recall." "At least...
    The first international shipment of infant formula has landed as the the White House tries to answer the United States's baby formula shortage. The first flight of "Operation Fly Formula" landed on Sunday in Indiana. The flight was part of an effort by the Department of Defense to use commercial air cargo to transport baby formula to those in need. The 78,000 pounds of powdered baby formula are the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8 oz. bottles of three particular formulas; Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior, and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA, according to WRTV. Additional flights are expected to be announced in the coming days. BIDEN: EVERYONE 'SHOULD BE CONCERNED' ABOUT MONKEYPOX Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said on Sunday that the flight has enough formula to fill 15% of the need for formula throughout the country. The first Operation Fly Formula has landed at Indianapolis airport, a C-17 carrying hypoallergenic formula for babies and kids with cows milk allergies pic.twitter.com/eHEuafKrmC— Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) May 22, 2022 The plane specifically...
    Indianapolis (CNN)The baby formula arriving Sunday on a US military aircraft from Germany will be distributed to areas around the country where there is the most acute need, a Biden administration official told CNN.The official, who is onsite in Indianapolis awaiting the arrival of the military aircraft, said the product contained in the first shipment will be distributed to hospitals, doctors, home health care facilities and pharmacies in regions "where the needs are most acute."The official pointed out that none of this particular shipment will land on store shelves in the US, adding that the formula being shipped Sunday is hypoallergenic and will be fed to babies intolerant of protein in cow milk.The official affirmed to CNN that the aircraft is transporting pallets of Nestlé Health Science formula -- including Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior -- to Indianapolis. On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered this first flight in support of the newly created Operation Fly Formula program transporting 132 pallets aboard a US military aircraft from Germany "due to the urgency of the situation."National Economic Council director Brian...
    Mac Jaehnert said he put 1,000 miles on his car in the last week looking for a specialty nutritional formula for daughter MacKenzie and other premature babies in his southeastern Washington state community."It's been a frustrating, heartbreaking, unnecessary challenge for a kid who has already overcome so much," Jaehnert told CNN Saturday, echoing the sentiments of parents caught up in a worsening nationwide baby formula shortage.Jaehnert described empty store shelves in his search for Similac NeoSure in the city of Richland and surrounding areas -- part of a growing national crisis that has forced the Biden administration to order the use of military aircraft to expedite the delivery of baby formula to the United States.Jaehnert and his wife, Emily, said they have been fortunate to receive donations of NeoSure after getting their story out but urged others to donate cans of formula to food banks to help meet the urgent demand across the country.At Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital, at least four babies were recently hospitalized due to complications from the ongoing shortage, according to...