June 16 (UPI) — Singapore-based Mead Johnson Nutrition/Reckitt plans to ship 4.5 million pounds of the base powder used to make Enfamil Stage 1 to the United States help counter the ongoing shortage of baby formula, the Food and Drug Administration announced.
The FDA said Wednesday that the base powder will be used to produce some 5.7 million cans of baby formula, the equivalent of about 66 million 8-ounce bottles.
The company is to begin shipping the product later this month to a facility in Minnesota, where it will be converted to the final product. That final product is expected to be available “in the coming weeks.”
Monthly shipments will continue through November.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is evaluating options for getting the product to the U.S. as quickly as possible,” the FDA said.
The arrangement with Mead Johnson Nutrition/Reckitt is one of multiple efforts by the Biden administration to bolster baby formula stocks in the United States.
A formula shortage in the United States was exacerbated in February when Abbott Nutrition closed its Michigan production facility and initiated a recall after some babies were sickened by bacterial contamination.
Earlier this month, Abbott Nutrition reopened its Sturgis facility with plans to release EleCare and other specialty and metabolic formula to consumers by June 20.
However, EleCare specialty infant formula production at Abbott’s Michigan plant has been halted after severe storms triggered flooding in the plant.
The closure came less than two weeks after the factory resumed production following a months-long shutdown that fueled a national formula shortage.
“We have informed FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production. This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks,” the company said in a statement Wednesday night.