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Abbott restarts production of specialty formulas at the Michigan plant

Abbott said it begins with the production of EleCare, an amino acid-based hypoallergenic product for babies who do not tolerate other formulas, as well as other special formulas. Abbott said the first batches of the Elecare product are expected to be available to consumers around June 20.

Breaking down the Biden administration's response to the lack of infant formula

Similac and other products made at the factory will take longer to become available.

“We are also working hard to meet the necessary steps to restart production of Similac and other formulas and will do so as soon as we can,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.
The Sturgis facility has been closed for several months following an inspection by the US Food and Drug Administration that found Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria – which can be deadly to infants – in several areas. Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas manufactured at the plant were recalled, and the closure exacerbated the shortage caused by supply chain disruptions. Families across the United States have struggled to find infant formula for infants and for people with specific nutritional needs.

In May, a federal judge signed an agreement between the US Food and Drug Administration and Abbott setting out the steps the company would have to take to restart production.

“We understand the urgent need for formula, and our top priority is to get high-quality, safe formula in the hands of families across America,” Abbott said in a statement. “We want to step up production as fast as we can while meeting all requirements. We are committed to safety and quality and will do everything we can to regain the trust parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals have given us for 130 years.”

President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to inform suppliers of formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to formula producers. The administration also created Operation Fly Formula to import formula from abroad.

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