78K Pounds of Infant Formula Landing in US

It's the first of multiple shipments coming in from overseas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2022 11:15 AM CDT
78K Pounds of Infant Formula Landing in US
An employee walks near empty shelves where baby formula would normally be located at a CVS in New Orleans on Monday, May 16, 2022.   (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Some relief on the baby formula shortage: Enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles is expected to arrive Sunday in the US. The formula, weighing 78,000 pounds, is being transported by military plane to Indianapolis, said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, per the AP. It is the first of several flights carrying infant formula from Europe expected this weekend to relieve the deepening shortage in the US. The flights were authorized by President Biden.

The Biden administration—which has struggled to address a nationwide shortage of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties—has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula.” The crisis follows the closure of the nation's largest domestic manufacturing plant in Michigan in February due to safety issues. The White House has said 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula was to leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany for the US. Another 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula were expected to arrive in the coming days.

Altogether, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, are expected to arrive this week. Indianapolis was chosen because it is a Nestle distribution hub. The formula will be offloaded into FedEx semitractor-trailers and taken to a Nestle distribution center about a mile away where the company will do a standard quality control check before distributing the supplies to hospitals, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices, according to an administration official on site.

(More baby formula stories.)

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