The company said it could resume milk powder production in a matter of weeks amid shortages.


A leading U.S. infant formula manufacturer says it could resume production within two weeks amid a nationwide shortage.

Abbott Laboratories recalled some products it manufactures, including Similac products, in February after complaining that some young people contracted bacterial infections.

A series of US retailers have now introduced restrictions on the purchase of infant formula, including Target Corp, CVS Health Corp, and the Walgreens Boots Alliance.

That’s because former Vice President Joe Biden is set to discuss the issue with manufacturers on Thursday and how to address the shortage.

White House deputy spokeswoman Carine Jean-Pierre described the shortage on Wednesday as an “urgent problem” and said the administration was working hard to secure more products.

“Ensuring that infant formula is safe and available to families across the country is a top priority for the White House and the current administration,” she said.

“We are aware that the voluntary recall of Abbott’s infant formula products will prevent some Americans from accessing infant formula and other important medical food supplies.”

According to a report by Datasembly, through May 8, milk powder out-of-stock rates in the United States were 43%, up from 40% the week before.

This percentage is up from 2-8% in the first half of 2021, when milk powder supply was stable.

Abbott said it will first resume production of EleCare, Alimentum and Metabolic Formulas, then resume production of Similac and other brands after obtaining US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

When production resumes, it will take six to eight weeks for the formula to hit the shelves.

The FDA says several other manufacturers are meeting or exceeding production capacity to meet demand.

FDA Commissioner Robert Caliph said in a statement that “we are committed to ensuring that the right product is available where and when it is needed.”

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