Resources for Families in Times of Formula Shortage

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – Consumers nationwide are finding baby formula shelves empty due to several factors, including supply chain issues and the FDA’s recall of three brands of powdered formula made by Abbott Nutrition.

This is after the FDA said four infants fell ill from drinking the formula made at Abbott’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan.

Resources for families

Mellisa Lathion, a lactation educator and consultant at Memorial Hospital, said premature babies, who need extra nutrients, depend on some of the specialized formulas made at the Sturgis facility which is currently shut down.

“I know vendors are challenged to find, I guess, you know, more applicable alternatives. And so those prescriptions can be written for those instead, and so families have access to them,” Lathion explained.

Lathion said mothers who feed their babies formula can always contact Beacon Health System for advice on dealing with formula shortages.

“I…absolutely 100% support breastfeeding. But I’m also well aware that it’s not always an easy thing to do,” she said. women feel pressured We want them to feel that their decisions are respected and honored at all times.

Lathion recommended mothers contact The Milk Bank, Indiana’s first and only donating breast milk bank. Click here to learn more about receiving milk from The Milk Bank.

Lathion said families affected by formula shortages can inquire with a local WIC program and area food banks.

“We just have to work together to support each other and our moms and babies, basically,” Lathion said.

Abbott’s response

On Monday, an Abbott spokesperson released a statement that read:

“After an extensive investigation at the Sturgis, Michigan plant by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Abbott, there are a number of significant findings. Abbott tests products before they are released, and no formula Abbott distributed to consumers has only tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella. Testing of products retained by Abbott and the FDA for Cronobacter sakazakii and or Salmonella all came back negative. Nope Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility during the investigation. the Cronobacter sakazakii that was found during environmental testing during the investigation was in non-product contact areas at our Sturgis facility and was not linked to the two available patient samples or any other known childhood illnesses.

“A thorough review of all available data indicates that infant formula produced at our Sturgis facility is unlikely to be the source of infection in the reported cases and that there has not been an outbreak caused by the products of the establishment.

Regarding the infant formula shortage, Abbott wrote: “We are doing everything we can to address the infant formula supply shortage. Throughout the United States, we are prioritizing the production of infant formula to help replenish market supply and we also air-ship product daily from our FDA-registered facility in Cootehill, Ireland. All of these powdered products are regularly replenished on retail shelves.

“The measures we are taking to combat the supply include:

-Increased production of Similac formulas at our other FDA registered facilities

-Import of Similac Advance into the United States from an FDA registered manufacturing site in Cootehill, Ireland, including daily air shipments of the product

– Prioritize part of the production of other Abbott liquid products at Similac and Alimentum in order to make more ready-to-use liquid formula available

– Work with USDA and state agencies to provide authorization to parents who obtain special supplemental nutrition program formula for women, infants, and children (WIC) along with other Similac products at no charge, including included for products from other manufacturers

-Import of Similac Advance into the United States from an FDA registered manufacturing site in Cootehill, Ireland, including daily air shipments of the product

– Prioritize part of the production of other Abbott liquid products at Similac and Alimentum in order to make more ready-to-use liquid formula available

– Work with USDA and state agencies to provide authorization to parents who obtain special supplemental nutrition program formula for women, infants, and children (WIC) along with other Similac products at no charge, including included for products from other manufacturers

– Engage with healthcare providers to identify potential alternative formulas, whenever we can

We know that millions of parents and caregivers around the world rely on our formula to feed their babies and children and we are doing everything we can to remedy this situation.

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