After weeks under increasing pressure to address the problem, President Joe Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to ease the widespread shortage of baby formula.
“Imports of baby formula will serve as a bridge to this ramped-up production. Therefore, I am requesting you take all appropriate measures available to get additional safe formula into the country immediately,” Biden wrote in a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Baby formula shortage and controlled sales in supermarkets started when U.S. manufacturer Abbott closed its Michigan plant since February, after complaints of bacterial infections.
The White House said the president was requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that product.
The president also directed Department of Defense commercial aircraft to pick up baby formula overseas while U.S. manufacturers ramp up production.
To cope faster with the shortages, last Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration said it was streamlining its review process to make it easier for foreign manufacturers to begin shipping more formula into the U.S.
On Monday, Abbott said it had reached an agreement to resume production in his major production plant.