The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the manufacturing and distribution of virtually every consumer-grade product in some way, shape, or form.
But, the most damning was baby formula– a shortage that pushed many parents to fear for their infants’ lives and resort to rationing the invaluable commodity.
And even though the baby formula shortage began due to pandemic-related supply chain issues, a recall issued by Abbott Nutrition was also devastating to the product’s inventory in local stores across the country.
Abbott Nutrition is one of the largest baby formula suppliers in the United States. So, when the company was forced to recall several brands of its formula following reports of bacterial infections in February, parents and caregivers were significantly impacted.
In fact, the CDC recently reported that only about twenty-five percent of parents breastfeed until their children are six months old. This means that the majority of U.S. parents depend on baby formula for their infant’s sustenance in some capacity.
Nonetheless, the baby formula shortage has continued to persist even as we reach the tail end of 2022. And this ongoing crisis has prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release a statement about its crisis prevention and solution strategies.
Robert M. Califf, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, began by describing how “years of consolidation in the infant formula industry” has resulted in “a fragile supply chain that is susceptible to production disruptions when quality issues are identified.”
Then, Califf revealed how, earlier this year, he advocated for a top-down review of the FDA’s crisis response in regards to the shutdown of Abbott Nutrition’s infant formula facility following the bacterial infection-related recall.
And the review, which was just published on Tuesday, reveals numerous recommendations for the improvement of FDA procedures.