Nutrition: US flies in baby food via Ramstein due to bottlenecks – economics

Empty Shelves: There is currently a dramatic bottleneck in baby formula in the US. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world. However, there has been a lack of baby food there for weeks. President Biden is putting pressure on that. He now he has activated the military.

Washington – Due to dramatic bottlenecks in the US, the US government is shipping infant formula through its Ramstein Air Force Base in Rhineland-Palatinate.

On Saturday night, the first machine with special medical food for babies left Ramstein for the US, said the director of the National Economic Council at the White House, Brian Deese, on CNN on Sunday. More flights are planned in the coming days. US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter during his trip to Asia that there were more than 70,000 tons of infant formula on board the first military aircraft. “Our team works around the clock to make baby food safe for everyone who needs it.”

The background to the bottlenecks is the bankruptcy of a factory for Abbott, the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the United States. Abbott pulled several product lines after four babies fell ill and two died, possibly due to bacterial contamination. Production at one of the company’s plants in the state of Michigan was temporarily halted in February. Biden has declared bottlenecks a top priority and, among other things, activated a law intended for wartime to boost production.

Military flights from Ramstein

Biden also announced “Operation Fly Formula” last week. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered flights to the site on Friday. The White House had announced that military planes from Ramstein would initially be used out of urgency because commercial flights were not available over the weekend. In the future, however, most deliveries will be handled by commercial aircraft. When asked why baby food might be in short supply in the United States, one of the world’s richest countries, Deese said: “It’s frustrating.”

Abbott CEO Robert Ford expressed regret on Saturday. “We feel sorry for all the families we’ve let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s baby formula shortage,” Ford wrote in a Washington Post guest post. However, the removal is believed to have been successful. “We will not take chances when it comes to children’s health.” It is known that due to the lack of special foods from Abbott, some children who cannot digest other foods and milk have come to the hospital. “This is tragic and heartbreaking.”

Ford announced measures to overcome bottlenecks. Abbott’s boss wrote that the production of this special food was given the highest priority. The affected families must be helped with a fund of 5 million dollars (4.73 million euros). Additionally, another Abbott plant that otherwise makes adult products has now been converted to baby food. Also, the baby food is shipped by air from a factory in Ireland. The Michigan plant is expected to reopen in the first week of June. Abbott is also investing in measures to ensure such bottlenecks don’t happen again.


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