British infant milk maker ships formula to US to alleviate shortage


A Lake District-based infant milk maker will be one of the first European manufacturers to bring formula to the United States to alleviate a shortage that many parents struggle with feeding their babies.

Kendamil, the only British infant milk brand in the market produced by the family-owned Kendal Nutricare, has gone a step further after Abbott Laboratories, the largest US producer with a 40% market share, took a nationwide recall action.

The Cumbria-based company plans to ship 100 milk powders used by the royal family to wean the Prince of Cambridge to the United States over the next six months after US regulatory agency the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) temporarily eased import requirements for babies. will be sending Official until mid-November.

The change is part of Operation Fly Formula, launched by Joe Biden this month to address a shortage that has arisen since Abbott shut down a Michigan plant and recalled infant formula products in February.

The decision follows a federal investigation into a case in which four babies ate formula and developed a bacterial infection. two of them died. Abbott said There is no connection between that formula and the disease.

Will McMahon, Commercial Director of Kendal Nutricare, said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the infant formula supply chain and led to a shortage of over 40% infant formula on US shelves due to Abbott recalls said to have occurred.

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He told the BBC that the US has been “a closed store selling milk powder” for decades, where the top four producers account for more than 95% of purchases.

“The dynamics of the market always expose you to events like this,” he told Radio 4’s Today program. “In the UK, we can fill the gap because consumers have a much wider product choice and access to foreign brands. This is relatively unique in America.”

The FDA exemption lasts until mid-November, but the company hopes to continue selling the formula in the United States beyond that date.

“A bigger opportunity here is a company that has been working with the FDA for over five years to get in touch with the FDA and bring their products to the United States,” McMahon said. “Because there is so much curiosity and demand for Kendamil in the US, we hope to have everything ready with the FDA so we can continue to supply them legally beyond November.”

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