Brian Gornick - Staff Writer - News
Abbott Nutrition Formula Plant in Sturgis, Michigan. Photo: apnews.com
Last week in the midst of the baby formula shortage that has created a stranglehold on the country, Abbott Nutrition announced that they are reopening the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which has been shut down since February.
The shutdown of the Sturgis plant by the FDA in February over the contamination concerns caused a baby formula shortage. The shortage has left families across the country scrambling to find formula to feed their babies.
The FDA in their investigation found a leaky roof, bacterial contaminations, and faulty safety protocols inside the plant. They forced production to shut down; a process that took months, only further straining the shortage.
The shortage of baby formula has no end in sight and is expected to last well into the summer months.
In a statement released by Abbott Nutrition, the Sturgis plant will prioritize EleCare specialty formulas. These formulas are designed for infants with severe food allergies or digestive problems that can’t take regular formula.
The Biden administration has undertaken initiatives to alleviate the strain on parents to find formula, such as lifting restrictions on importing formula, as well as airlifting formula from Europe, but for the supply shortage to truly end, the Sturgis plant needed to resume production.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack greets crew members of a C-17 in Indianapolis, Indiana, as they arrive with a shipment of baby formula. Photo: fox5vegas.com
According to AP News, Abbott Nutrition is one of four companies that provides over 90% of all baby formula in the United States, and the shutdown of their largest plant in Sturgis only exacerbated other issues such as problems with supply chains as well as a shortage of workers.
As the plant gears to resume production again after a months-long hiatus, the formula shortage only continues to cause issues, and it could be another few months before parents see the effects of the Sturgis plant reopening.