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Biden invokes Defense Production Act for formula shortage

John Crowley / CC BY-SA 2.0

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and authorized flights to import supply from overseas, as he faces mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant.

The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill those orders before other customers. Biden is also authorizing the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly overseas formula supplies that meet federal standards to the U.S., in what the White House is calling “Operation Fly Formula.”

Supplies of baby formula across the country have been severely curtailed in recent weeks after a February recall by Abbott Nutrition exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on store shelves and increasingly anxious parents struggling to find nutrition for their children.

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Brenda De Anda-Swann

Brenda De Anda-Swann is news director at ABC-7.

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