INDIANOPOLIS – A military plane carrying enough special baby formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday, the first of several flights expected from Europe to address a shortage that has forced parents to struggle to find enough to feed their children. .

President Joe Biden allowed the use of Air Force aircraft for this operation, which was dubbed “Operation Fly Formula” because there were no commercial flights.

The formula weighed 78,000 pounds (35,380 pounds), White House spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

Agriculture Minister Tom Wilsak was in Indianapolis to congratulate the arrival of the first batch.

The flights are intended for “some relief in the coming days” as the government works to strengthen its response to the deficit, Brian Deez, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday.


Reese told CNN “Union State” that Sunday’s flight brought 15% of the special medical formula needed in the U.S., and because of various government actions people should see more formula in stores starting this week. ”

In the long run, he said, the United States needs more formula suppliers “so that no single company has such control over supply chains.”

The Biden administration is working hard to address the nationwide shortage of formulas, especially hypoallergenic varieties. The crisis came after the country’s largest domestic plant in Michigan closed in February due to security concerns.

The White House has announced that 132 Nestle Health Science mixture Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior must leave Rammstein Air Force Base in Germany in the United States. Another 114 flights of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA are due in the coming days. In total, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three mixtures, which are hypoallergenic for children allergic to cow’s milk protein, are expected to arrive this week.


Indianapolis was chosen because it is the Nestle distribution center. The formula will be unloaded into FedEx semi-trailers and delivered to a Nestle distribution center about a mile away, where the company will conduct a standard quality check before distributing supplies to hospitals, pharmacies and medical offices, a local administration spokesman said. .

Nestle said it has been working around the clock for the past few months to address the shortage of formulas and help meet demand.

“We have significantly increased the number of our formulas available to consumers by increasing production and accelerating overall product availability for retailers and online, as well as through hospitals and home care for the most vulnerable,” the company said in a release.

“At Nestle, we are working hard to ensure that parents and caregivers have the right formula so that their children can thrive,” it added. “We preferred these products because they serve very important medical purposes as they are designed for children with allergies to cow’s milk protein.”


Under Operation Fly Formula, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services have been asked to ask the Department of Defense for help to pick up a baby formula overseas that meets U.S. health and safety standards so it can get to store shelves faster. according to the USDA.

Alfamino is mostly available through hospitals and home care companies that serve patients at home.

U.S. regulators and manufacturer Abbott Nutrition are hoping to rebuild its Michigan plant next week, but it will take about two months before the product is ready for delivery. This week, the Food and Drug Administration has eased import requirements for baby formulas to try to ease supply constraints, leaving some brands on store shelves and some retailers normalizing supplies for parents who are nervous about feeding their children. children.

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