Stormy weather has halted manufacturing at a key Michigan plant
On Wednesday, the owner said that the production of Michigan’s baby formula plant, which became more prominent earlier in this year due to the US shortage crisis, was halted once again. Abbott Laboratories doesn’t expect the facility to be operational for at least several weeks.
Thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls that hit the state’s southwestern region on Monday caused disruption to EleCare’s specialty formula, according to the company in a statement. Inclement weather caused flooding in Sturgis (the city which hosts the plant), causing extensive damage to the area. The delay in production or distribution will result from a review of the circumstances and repairs to make sure that safe operations are possible. “for a few weeks”
Due to a possible bacterial contamination, Sturgis’ plant had to be closed in February. Due to the shortage in formula supply, retailers had to implement rationing.
It is the third largest manufacturer in the country and accounts for about one-fifth of all baby formula production. Imports could not compensate for the shortfall.
The new shutdown won’t result in a new crisis, Abbott said, citing “historical demand and current projections”it used to make its product. According to the company, it maintained that the formula was in stock and could supply the product even if the factory is closed.
The company stated that it had notifies the Food and Drug Administration of the problem. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said he’d received assurances from the company management that the plant will be up and running as soon as possible.
While this is an unfortunate setback and a reminder that natural weather events can also cause unforeseen supply chain disruptions, I want to reassure consumers the all-of-government work to increase supply means we’ll have more than enough product to meet current demand.
— Dr. Robert M. Califf (@DrCaliff_FDA) June 16, 2022
“We know Abbott is working quickly to assess the damage and will be reporting its progress to us in the days ahead,”He said it in a tweet thread. “Once the company establishes a plan, FDA will be back in the facility working to ensure that they can restart producing safe and quality formula products quickly.”
Biden’s administration admitted that it initially underestimated how serious the situation was.