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'Operation Fly Formula': Biden invokes Defense Production Act for formula shortage

Infant formula
Posted at 6:24 PM, May 18, 2022

President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed the production of infant formula and has authorized flights to import supplies from overseas.

He is facing mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country's largest formula manufacturing plant. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill those orders before other customers.

Biden is also authorizing the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly overseas formula supplies that meet federal standards to the U.S., in what the White House is calling "Operation Fly Formula."

The announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration said the agency was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the U.S. Regulators also said on Monday that they’d reached a deal to allow Abbott Nutrition to restart its Sturgis, Michigan, plant, the nation’s largest formula plant, which has been closed since February due to contamination issues.

The company must overhaul its safety protocols and procedures before resuming production.