By JOSH BOAK
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to speak with baby formula manufacturers and retailers Thursday about the plight of families struggling to find formula due to supply chain disruptions and a safety recall.
White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz said on Twitter that the administration will also announce “additional actions” to address the formula shortage.
Shortages of basic goods have been a problem since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Access to medical supplies, computer chips, household appliances, autos and other goods has been hurt by closed factories and outbreaks of the virus, as well as storms and other climate-related events. A safety recall compounded the challenges regarding baby formula.
The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers on Feb. 17 to avoid some powdered baby formula products from a Sturgis, Michigan, facility run by Abbott Nutrition, which then initiated a voluntary recall. According to findings released in March by federal safety inspectors, Abbott failed to maintain sanitary conditions and procedures at the plant.
On Tuesday, the FDA said it was working with U.S. manufacturers to increase their output and streamlining paperwork to allow more imports. The agency noted that supply chain issues associated with the pandemic were part of the problem and that consumers bought more baby formula in April than in the month before the recall.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week that the FDA was “working around the clock to address any possible shortages.”
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