Indianapolis – On Sunday, enough special milk formula arrived in Indianapolis for more than half a million baby bottles. This is the first of several flights carrying infant formula from Europe, expected this weekend to address a deepening U.S. deficit that is deepening.
The 78,000-pound formula, or 39 tons, was transported by military aircraft, White House spokeswoman Caryn Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.
Agriculture Minister Tom Wilsak was in Indianapolis to congratulate the arrival of the first batch.
The Biden administration, which struggled to resolve Fr. nationwide lack of formula, especially hypoallergenic varieties – christened the effort “Operation Fly Formula”. The crisis is coming closure of the country’s largest domestic plant in Michigan in February due to security concerns.
“As a rule, the process of transporting this product from Europe to the United States takes two weeks. Thanks to Operation Fly Formula, we have reduced it to about three days,” said Jean-Pierre. “It shows the president’s commitment to pulling every lever to bring more baby formula to market. And Operation Fly Formula is one of the tools we use to do that.”
The White House has announced that 132 Nestlé 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 blends, which are hypoallergenic for children allergic to cow’s milk protein, are expected to arrive this week. The flights were authorized by Mr. Biden.
Indianapolis was chosen because it is the Nestlé distribution center. The formula will be unloaded into FedEx semi-trailers and delivered to the Nestlé distribution center about a mile away, where the company will conduct a standard quality control check before distributing supplies to hospitals, pharmacies and medical offices, a local administration spokesman said. .
Mr Biden said on Sunday afternoon that another batch of Nestlé special baby formula would arrive in Pennsylvania soon.
“The flight and trucking will take place in the coming days and I will continue to keep you informed,” he said. tweeted.
Air Force planes carried the original batch of formula because there were no commercial flights available this weekend.
The flight was the first of several that brought “some additional relief in the coming days” as the government worked 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.”
Under Operation Fly Formula, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services are authorized to request support from the Department of Defense to select a baby formula overseas that meets U.S. health and safety standards so that it can be stored. . 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.
On Sunday night, Mr. Biden announced that he had used the Defense Manufacturing Act to allow Abbott and Reckitt, which also makes baby formula, “to add legally binding language to their orders with suppliers giving them priority.”
“Abbott can now receive priority orders for raw materials so that they can quickly increase production by more than a third where it is today,” the president said. tweeted. “Now Reckitt can receive priority orders for consumables such as filters that will allow their institutions to operate at maximum capacity.”