Infant formula powder is no longer available in the United States. European manufacturers now deliver by air freight.
There is a huge shortage of baby food in the United States. The reason is the failure of a production facility for pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott is the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the United States.
Several products had to be recalled at the beginning of the year. Infants may have fallen ill and two died due to bacterial contamination in baby food. Production in Michigan stopped completely.
When we left, it was all gone.
Baby food shelves are currently empty in many parts of the United States because Abbott Laboratories has recalled all products. On Monday, the company said it would resume production in Michigan.
Desperate parents try to secure the remaining cans. So did Jennifer Kersey, mother of seven-month-old Blake Kersey Jr.: “I suddenly realized there was a shortage of breastmilk substitutes. When we left, it was all gone.”
This is the case for countless parents in the United States right now standing in front of empty shelves in stores. Texas is particularly affected by the shortage. Parents wander for hours to get baby food.
American reporter Vivian Manns says the shortage of baby food particularly affects women who work menial jobs. “They often don’t have the opportunity to stay home after giving birth, breastfeeding at work, or pumping breast milk.” There is also no guaranteed maternity leave in the United States. For such families in particular, Manns says the search for baby food is a huge burden.
Unimaginable in the United States
The lack of food for children in one of the richest countries in the world – the topic is very emotional. In the United States, many have already drawn comparisons with conditions in the world’s poorest countries. Many politicians now want the government to be held accountable.
So does Elise Marie Stefanik (Republican), who sits in the US House of Representatives from New York. I called for measures to combat the baby food crisis last February. I wrote on Twitter that the Biden administration failed to come up with a plan.
Imagine babies and children being put to bed hungry while parents desperately try to find hard-to-get food. “We are not in a third world country. This should never happen in the USA,” Stefanik says.
Imports from Europe – by plane
To reduce delivery bottlenecks, the US Medicines Agency (FDA) announced Monday that it will make product import rules more flexible. US President Joe Biden also intervened due to the lack of powdered infant formula.
Now the leading European manufacturers Nestle (Switzerland) and Reckitt Benckiser (Great Britain) have also entered the scene. The two companies announced that they would export more baby food to the United States. Nestlé currently ships baby food by air from the Netherlands and Switzerland to the United States.
Reuters said Reckitt Benckiser in the United Kingdom increased its production of baby food by about 30 percent and increased its supply. The company now covers more than 50 percent of the entire range of baby food in the USA.
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