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Biden invokes Defense Production Act to accelerate baby formulamanufacturing 2022

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday evening to boost baby formula production and issued a directive to planes to bring in supplies from overseas after mounting pressure from Congress.

In addition to enforcing a Cold War-era law forcing suppliers to direct resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customers, Biden announced ‘Operation Fly Formula’, which would help the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human. Services (HHS) resources to load aircraft with formulas that meet FDA safety standards in other countries to bring it to the US parent. The Defense Department will use its contracts with commercial airlines to move Formula One back to the US

Earlier on Wednesday, a bipartisan group in the House introduced a motion to Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act.

Twenty members of the House, eighteen Democrats, two Republicans, and many who face a competitive re-election race, co-sponsored the motion, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DNJ.

Co-sponsors include Reps. Alyssa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Mickey Sherrill (Dn.J.), Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Chris Pappas (Dn.H.), and others. It also has two Republican supporters: Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Maria Salazar (R-Fla.)

The proposal joins several other legislation, including a bill by a bipartisan group of senators led by Marco Rubio that would order Biden to enforce the DPA and approve the sale of European-made baby formulas in the US.

Critics have noted that the FDA has strict labeling standards for containers that restrict the sale of many European-made products, even when the contents are deemed safe to consume. The agency strictly enforces a 90-day waiting period before any new infant formula is allowed into interstate commerce.

Biden wrote in a letter to HHS Sec. Javier Becerra and USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack:

‘The import of baby formula will act as a bridge for this rapid production, therefore, I request you to take all appropriate measures to get the extra safe formula in the country immediately.

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday evening to boost baby formula production and issued a directive to planes to bring in supplies from overseas after mounting pressure from Congress.

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday evening to boost baby formula production and issued a directive to planes to bring in supplies from overseas after mounting pressure from Congress.

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday evening to boost baby formula production and issued a directive to planes to bring in supplies from overseas after mounting pressure from Congress.

‘Specifically, I request that you act swiftly to identify any and all avenues to accelerate the importation of safe infant formula into the United States and on store shelves.’

On Monday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to President Biden urging him to implement the DPA.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday dismissed the idea, claiming it was not legally possible to apply a DPA to baby formula.

While he said Congress should change the law, he focused on two other laws—one the House plans to vote on Wednesday that would allow the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (WIC) for Women, Infants and Children to allow more brands of formula. allow to cover. and another that will provide $28 million in emergency aid.

Asked whether Biden should implement the DPA on Sunday, the speaker said: ‘I think so, but as is the law now, it is not possible to do so.’

,[Appropriations chair Rosa DeLauro] I am sure we have to change the law to implement the Defense Production Act.”

Twenty members of the House, eighteen Democrats, two Republicans, and many who face a competitive re-election race, co-sponsored the motion, led by Rep.  Josh Gottheimer, DNJ.

Twenty members of the House, eighteen Democrats, two Republicans, and many who face a competitive re-election race, co-sponsored the motion, led by Rep.  Josh Gottheimer, DNJ.

Twenty members of the House, eighteen Democrats, two Republicans, and many who face a competitive re-election race, co-sponsored the motion, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, DNJ.

Outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki said DPA was an option, but the White House was not yet sure it would be helpful. She said of using the act, ‘You have to make sure it actually achieves what you’re trying to achieve.

When asked about the implementation of the DPA on Monday, the new White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: ‘We are leaving no stone unturned and every option is on the table, as we have been saying for the past several days. .’

Biden recently used the Defense Production Act of 1950 to accelerate production of critical minerals. The act allows the federal government to force certain industries to increase production in times of national emergency.

The act was used to ramp up production of large-capacity batteries, electric vehicles and the energy sector to reduce dependence on China amid rising tensions and to address rising oil prices amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a major supplier of such minerals.

Trump used the DPA at the height of the pandemic to crack down on the hoarding of PPE, limit exports of medical goods and ramp up production of equipment to fight COVID-19, such as ventilators. Biden has also used it to accelerate vaccination and testing.

An Abbott Nutrition manufacturing plan in Sturgis, Michigan, kicked off in February after four infants who drank its formula were hospitalized with a rare bacterial infection. Two children died after consuming the product, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an investigation into possible contamination.

View of an empty shelf at a giant grocery store due to reduced baby food availability on Monday, May 16

View of an empty shelf at a giant grocery store due to reduced baby food availability on Monday, May 16

View of an empty shelf at a giant grocery store due to reduced baby food availability on Monday, May 16

A nearly empty baby formula display shelf is seen at the CVS Pharmacy on May 17, 2022 in Falls Church, Virginia

A nearly empty baby formula display shelf is seen at the CVS Pharmacy on May 17, 2022 in Falls Church, Virginia

A nearly empty baby formula display shelf is seen at the CVS Pharmacy on May 17, 2022 in Falls Church, Virginia

Parents are scrambling to find formula for their babies, some waiting endlessly for fresh web pages to rest and others for hours to seek help from the government

Parents are scrambling to find formula for their babies, some waiting endlessly for fresh web pages to rest and others waiting for hours to seek help from the government

Parents are scrambling to find formula for their babies, some waiting endlessly for fresh web pages to rest and others for hours to seek help from the government

Abbott acknowledged that the recall made formula shortages worse, but stressed that ‘after a thorough review of all available data, there is no evidence linking our formula to these infant illnesses.’

The reduction began in November, when the out-of-stock rate for the formula was around 11 percent for the country.

On an average 40 percent of the country’s infant formula is currently out of stock. In some areas the reduction is more than 50 percent and the problem is affecting children more severely than allergies and health conditions.

President Biden’s home state of Delaware is the second hardest hit by the shortage—the formula was 54.4 percent out of stock, according to Datasembly, a grocery and retail pricing data firm.

Biden suggested on Friday that a ‘mind reader’ would have been needed to predict infant formula shortages.

Asked whether his administration should act sooner, Biden said, “If we were better-minded readers, I think we could.”

‘We’re going to get to significantly – or less – in a few weeks where more formula is on the shelves,’ he said.

Abbott this week struck a deal with the FDA that could reinstate its products in about two months after reopening its Sturgis plant.

Abbott said its tentative timeline for reopening the plant was at about two weeks, and that products were to be restocked in about six to eight weeks.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said he thought a time-frame was possible, but declined to commit to when parents could get relief.

“We believe those deadlines are reasonable,” it said, adding that the FDA expects supplies to return to normal “in the next few months.”

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