Dramatic bottlenecks: USA set up airlift for baby milk

In the USA, the supply crisis for baby food is coming to a head.

Dramatic bottlenecks: USA set up airlift for baby milk

In the USA, the supply crisis for baby food is coming to a head. US President Biden is now resorting to a Cold War armaments law to alleviate bottlenecks in supermarkets. Military aircraft are also used.

Due to bottlenecks in baby milk formula in the USA, the government is resorting to unusual means to provide families with milk powder. US President Joe Biden decided to use the Defense Production Act, originally introduced for wartime, to boost production of baby food, the White House said. Specifically, Biden ordered manufacturers of infant formula to be given the necessary ingredients by suppliers in preference to other customers.

The law allows US presidents to intervene in the private sector in the interests of national security. In the corona pandemic, the regulation was last used to oblige companies to increase the production of medical devices and protective masks.

In order to expedite the import of baby milk powder, Biden has now also instructed that Department of Defense airliners could be used to bring infant formula from abroad to the United States, it said. As at the beginning of the corona pandemic, the Pentagon will use its contracts with commercial air freight companies to transport products from foreign production sites. Bypassing the regular air freight routes saves a lot of time.

The background to the shortage is the failure of a factory at Abbott, the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the USA. The producer had recalled several product lines after four infants became ill and two died, possibly due to bacterial contamination. Production at one of the company's plants in the state of Michigan has been completely stopped for the time being

The US government only announced on Monday that it would allow more imports of baby milk powder because of the bottlenecks. According to its own statements, the US drug agency FDA also agreed with Abbott on various precautions to reopen the affected factory. However, the company said it would take several weeks before production there could start again and baby milk formula could be delivered to retailers. The leading European manufacturers Reckitt Benckiser and Nestlé announced on Tuesday that they would be exporting more baby food to the United States than usual.


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