The plant had only resumed baby formula production on June 4, following a months-long delay stemming from a voluntary recall after complaints that four infants who had consumed products manufactured at the plant developed bacterial infections, Breitbart news previously noted. Abbott’s recall and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigations that coincided contributed to the nationwide baby formula shortage that has left frantic parents struggling to feed their infants for months. Abbott stated that “severe thunderstorms and heavy rains” in Southwest Michigan caused the flood that rocked portions of Sturgis and “areas of our plant.” “As a result, Abbott has stopped production of its EleCare specialty formula that was underway to assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant,” the company noted. Abbott has alerted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the incident and “will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production.” The Abbott manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, on May 13, 2022. (JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images) “This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks,” the update continued. In Abbott’s June 4 announcement that it was resuming manufacturing at the plant, it noted that specialty and metabolic formulas would be prioritized at the start of production operations while projecting EleCare products release on June 20, as Breitbart News reported: The company will begin making Similac formula and other regular products after prioritizing the specialty formulas, “with supplies hitting stores several weeks later,” the Walls Street Journal reported, citing “a person familiar with the matter.” However, on Tuesday, Abbott asserted that it “has ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available.” “These products are being released to consumers in need in coordination with healthcare professionals,” the update continued. “Parents or caregivers in need should contact their healthcare professional or contact Abbott at +1-800-881-0876 for additional information.” Abbott asserted that in June, it manufactured nearly 9 million pounds of infant formula, which was not produced in Sturgis.
The figure represents 95 percent of the company’s January output – before the recall. Once production resumes, the Michigan plant will again work to bolster specialty and metabolic formula supply after prioritizing EleCare manufacturing and will simultaneously work to begin producing Similac formula. Before the recall, the Sturgis plant “had produced roughly one-fifth of the infant formula in the country,” as the Wall Street Journal noted. Although the recall occurred in February, and such a significant void in production would undoubtedly have severe negative consequences for the country’s most vulnerable populations, White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese recently contended on CNN’s The Lead that President Joe Biden was not aware of the crisis until April, Breitbart News reported.
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