The US government has allowed imports of powdered infant milk from the UK, the Food and Drug Administration announced in a statement Tuesday, as the country grapples with a severe shortage.
British family-owned company Kendal Nutricare will deliver about 2 million cans of Kendamil-brand formula to the US by June, the FDA said. According to The Guardian newspaper, 100 truckloads of powdered milk, which was used by the royal family to wean Prince Louis of Cambridge, will be shipped.
“We continue to do everything in our power as part of government-wide efforts to ensure adequate infant formula is available where and when parents and carers need it.” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said. About 40% of baby formula products are out of stock nationwide, the data shows.
Last week, the White House eased import requirements and announced an effort to transport baby milk from abroad called ‘Operation Formula Fly’. The United States typically produces 98% of the infant formula it consumes, with imports coming primarily from Mexico, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Companies seeking to enter the US market face formidable obstacles, including rigorous research and manufacturing standards imposed by the FDA.
On Sunday, a military plane carrying enough powdered milk to fill half a million baby bottles arrived in the United States from Germany. The delivery of the formula made by Nestlé is expected to cover around 15% of the shortage nationwide.
Baby formula shortages began to take hold in the US last year amid supply chain problems caused by the pandemic. However, the situation deteriorated in February when Abbott Laboratories, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers, recalled some of its products and closed a manufacturing plant after four infants who had been fed formula prepared at the facility contracted a rare illness. bacterial infection. Two of them later died.
Abbott said last week that after investigations by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the company itself, no conclusive evidence was found linking its formulas to those incidents. The plant is now set to reopen in early June.