Biden invokes Defense Production Act to address baby food shortage nationwide

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act as an important step to increase baby food supply.

The announcement means that the federal government will prioritize key ingredients for formula production and force suppliers to provide the necessary resources to formula manufacturers before other customers order those goods.

In addition to invoking the 1950 law, which allows the government to direct production for national defense, Biden also launched a program that will use US military aircraft to import formulas from abroad.

“Today I’m calling on what they call the Defense Production Act to ensure manufacturers have the ingredients necessary to make safe, healthy infant formulas right here at home,” Biden said. said in a video from the White House

The law has been most prominently used to fight the coronavirus pandemic in recent years, with both Biden and former President Donald Trump invoking it.

Biden’s announcement comes after a bipartisan group of lawmakers called Biden. on to invoke the Defense Production Act to bolster formula production amid the deteriorating shortage and as parents make efforts to secure formula.

The House will vote Wednesday night on a pair of bills designed to increase access to baby food under a federal program and boost funding from the Food and Drug Administration to hire more workers.

The FDA began warning consumers against buying certain baby foods in February as it investigated a series of bacterial infections in four babies attached to an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

Abbott Nutrition, which has denied any allegation, said Monday it had agreed to terms set by the FDA to resume operations at the company’s Michigan plant, but the shortfall has driven parents insane.

Biden made another effort on Wednesday to address the deficit, one that will use US military planes to import formulas from abroad.

“I’m also announcing Operation Fly Formula. That’s to accelerate infant formula imports and get more formulas into stores as soon as possible,” Biden said. “I have instructed the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send planes and planes overseas to collect infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards so we can get it to store shelves faster. .”

The White House said the program aims to accelerate the importation and distribution of formulas by leveraging the Pentagon’s contracts with commercial air freight lines to fly formulas that meet FDA standards from manufacturing facilities abroad.