In general, US military aircraft are responsible for other things. But the milk powder crisis in the USA is so existential that the army is now transporting baby food from Europe. 132 pallets from the Swiss Nestle Group arrive in the state of Indiana.
A US military plane has brought the first deliveries of baby food based on milk powder from Europe to the USA. The US government said there should be a second flight later this week, which is to depart from the US base in Ramstein, Germany. The US is suffering from catastrophic baby food shortages.
US President Joe Biden last week reactivated an emergency law from the Cold War era in order to be able to intervene in the private sector to solve the problem. According to the Berlin-based Association of Milk Exporters, US authorities are currently requesting deliveries from Germany. The background to the crisis is the closure of an important US plant for the production of baby food due to lack of hygiene.
To ensure supplies, the US government launched "Operation Fly Formula", based on the English term for baby food "Infant Formula". The US Department of Defense can also use commercial aircraft to transport the powder. According to US information, 132 pallets from the Swiss Nestle group arrived in Indianapolis in the state of Indiana on Sunday, and another 114 pallets are to arrive on the next flight. The amount of powder supplied is said to be enough for around 1.5 million baby bottles, but this is far from the amount required.
The arrival of the first shipment is a great relief for her, said Megan Kendrick, mother of a seven-month-old baby with a milk allergy. "These products are lifesavers for so many children and parents. I'm sure it's not just babies who will sleep soundly tonight."
The US group Abbott had to temporarily close its plant in the state of Michigan in mid-February. According to the authorities, the reason for this was bacterial infections in four infants. Abbott actually covers a larger portion of infant formula in the US. "We apologize to every family we have let down," Abbott CEO Robert Ford wrote in the Washington Post over the weekend.
To resolve the crisis, the British company Reckitt Benckiser has increased its production of baby food by around 30 percent and increased its deliveries. France's Danone has also increased its exports, according to US Customs data. Being supplied by other manufacturers now also poses problems. On the one hand, according to the milk export association, it must be clarified whether companies actually have the capacity to expand their production. Much more important, however, is the question of market approval. Such procedures usually take a long time. In this case, however, the USA has an urgent need. Whether this could change anything in the approval process remains to be seen.