Biden will meet with manufacturers of baby formulas to reduce the deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet with baby formula makers as his administration works to facilitate …

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet with baby formula makers as his administration works to reduce deficits across the country by importing foreign supplies and using the Defense Manufacturing Act to speed up domestic production.

The White House announced that Biden will hold a roundtable on Wednesday with leaders of manufacturers ByHeart, Bubs Australia, Reckitt, Perrigo Co. and Gerber. The list is notable to those not included: Abbott Nutrition, a company whose plant in Michigan was closed in February due to security concerns that caused a shortage in the United States.

Biden will be joined by Health and Social Services Minister Xavier Besser and Surgeon General Vivek Merty. It is expected that the meeting will present information that the administration has named Operation Fly Formula to import the formula from abroad to the US and deploy a Korean War Manufacturing Act that requires formula manufacturers to prioritize their orders to facilitate any bottlenecks in production.

These measures will help, but will not immediately put an end to the shortage of milk supply, leaving people who depend on the mixture to face empty shelves or restrictions on purchases.

The Food and Drug Administration began testing the Abbott plant last fall, tracking several bacterial infections in infants who used a mixture from that facility. Four cases occurred between September and January, resulting in hospitalizations and two deaths.

After detecting positive samples of rare but dangerous bacteria in several parts of the plant, the FDA closed the facility, and Abbott announced a massive recall of its formula on February 17th.

U.S. regulators and Abbott announced last month an agreement that would help pave the way for plant rebuilding, although production has not resumed.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment as to why Abbott was not included in Wednesday’s meeting.

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