US Reporter

Abbott Nutrition Michigan plant closure forces US Gov’t to increase import 

US administrative officials have expressed plans to increase imports for baby formula products after nationwide shortages.

The data from an American company has shown that the number of baby formula supplies in America dropped by 43% following one week with no new production. This is due to Abbott Nutrition closing down its Sturgis Michigan plant after it was affected by a recall, which led many companies across different states having decreased amounts for sale on retail shelves.

Food and Drug Administration asked consumers to temporarily cease buying products from Abbott Nutrition, particularly Similac specialty. This was after another report of an infant death allegedly consuming the company’s products — the first one was last September. 

In response to an infant death from Cronobacter sakazakii, Abbott pushed for a recall and decided to shut down their plant in Michigan for further investigation. 

Products recalled by Abbott include Similac PM 60/40, Similac, EleCare, and Alimentum. Investigators tested the plant and found out the presence of Cronobacter inside the plant but not where the products were manufactured.

As precaution, all products made in the Michigan plant were also tested but all came out negative.

The FDA and CDC advise consumers not to purchase any of the products listed on Abbott Nutrition’s official website until they can verify that it is safe. The company has announced a recall for these products so buyers should check with their supplier before buying anything else or consuming them.

The Michigan plant closure is what caused the supply chain to drop at considerable levels — leaving parents across the country challenged to find substitutes.

Abbott Nutrition remains one of the biggest suppliers of infant formula products; so the closure of the Michigan state would mean steps are needed to cover up for the temporary drop of supplies. That is why the United States government has widened their call for an increase in importation as a solution to the development. 

The FDA has not yet approved the restart of manufacturing in Sturgis, but it may be issued within weeks or longer if further investigations show there are no cases left. The CDC closed its case after finding none remaining and asked health departments across America to report any incident relating back to Cronobacter infections.

The CDC warned that Cronobacter can cause swelling of the linings around your brain and spinal cord, which can cause fever to an infected infant or patient. Other symptoms include low energy level, irregular food intakes, and seizures in extreme cases.

President Joe Biden met with Walmart, Target, Gerber, and Reckitt to discuss measures on gaining supplies and potential price gouging during the shortage. The Federal Trading Commission will be informed of any developments that may arise from this situation while also being assisted by the Justice Department in combating predators who take advantage of shoppers.

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.