First Operation Fly Formula shipment arrives in US from Europe as senior Biden official grills over shortages

The first shipment of Operation Fly Formula has landed in the United States with 78,000 pounds of baby food on board.

A military plane carrying much-needed cargo arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday, where it was met by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

It is the first of several White House-sanctioned flights expected to arrive in the US from Europe to help alleviate the nationwide shortage of formula.

The crisis was sparked by the closure of the nation’s largest infant formula manufacturing facility in Michigan in February after two babies died from bacterial infections.

The White House says 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior Formula were flown to the United States from Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

A further 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to arrive over the next few days.

Together, officials say that will be enough for about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are intended for children with cow’s milk protein allergies.

The flight landed in Indianapolis because it is a distribution center for Nestlé. The formula will be taken to the company’s nearby distribution center and checked before being distributed to pharmacies, hospitals and doctor’s offices, the Biden administration says.

Baby food shelves are now empty in stores across the country as the Biden administration tries to get a handle on the situation.

The Abbott Nutrition plant linked to the baby formula shortage has reached an agreement to resume operations within two weeks, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Abbott signed a consent decree with the FDA on Monday that, if court-approved, outlines the steps the company must take to resume production at its Michigan factory.

Earlier on Sunday, National Economic Council director Brian Deese was grilled about the crisis by CNN’s Dana-Bash.

“It goes back to this question of how do we bring more competition into our economy, more vendors have this formula, so no single company has as much control over supply chains,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abbott’s CEO apologized for his company’s role in the crisis.

“We regret every family we have let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our country’s infant formula shortages,” wrote Robert Ford in an op-ed for The Washington Post. First Operation Fly Formula shipment arrives in US from Europe as senior Biden official grills over shortages

Bobby Allyn

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