Closed infant formula factory could reopen by next week | Health, Medicine and Fitness
Physician Information Staff
FRIDAY, May 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — An infant formula factory that closed in February amid the current shortage of the product in the United States could reopen as soon as next week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner said. Robert Califf, MD. House lawmakers on Thursday.
The Abbott Nutrition Michigan formula plant is the largest in the country and was closed due to contamination concerns.
Earlier this week, the FDA announced a preliminary agreement with Abbott to restart production if safety upgrades and certifications are met. However, even after production resumes, it could take about two months before the factory’s new formula starts showing up on store shelves, Abbott said.
“We had to fight that with Abbott,” Califf told members of the House Appropriations subcommittee, the Associated press reported. “I think we’re on track to open it within the week to two weeks.” Califf is the first Biden administration official to testify before Congress about the shortage, which has left some parents desperate for a formula and has become a huge political issue.
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The Abbott factory was closed after the FDA began investigating four bacterial infections in infants who had consumed formula from the factory. Earlier this week, Califf said the investigation was ongoing and had not yet determined whether bacteria in the plant caused the infections. Abbott said there was no direct evidence linking its products to disease.
During Thursday’s appearance before the House subcommittee, Califf dodged questions about why the FDA waited until February to begin its investigation when the first childhood infection was reported in September, the PA reported.