Biden Invokes Defense Production Act Over Formula Shortage

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President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act in order to tackle a nationwide shortage of formula for infants, he announced Wednesday.

Mothers nationwide have reported difficulty finding formula for their children in recent weeks. The shortage is in part due to the temporary closure of Abbott Laboratories’ facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

Biden first announced the move on his presidential Twitter page.

“We’re making sure safe formula gets to all who need it,” he wrote alongside a video announcement.

In a memorandum released Wednesday evening, he vowed to direct all necessary resources to alleviate the shortages.

Biden cited the Abbott shortage, and announced the 1950s production act would be enacted:

Adequate supply of infant formula is critical to the health and safety of the millions of children who depend on the formula for essential nutrition. The Federal Government has worked in the last several months to address the shortfall in infant formula, but additional measures are needed to ensure an adequate supply of infant formula in the United States and thereby protect the health and well-being of our Nation’s children.

[…]

This disruption threatens the continued functioning of the national infant formula supply chain, undermining critical infrastructure that is essential to the national defense, including to national public health or safety.

Biden authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to work with the Department of Agriculture to work together to streamline the production and distribution of formula.

The Abbot facility was closed after several children who had consumed Similac became ill.

The Sturgis facility is expected to reopen within two weeks.

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