The first formula flights from Europe arrive this weekend

The first flights of infant formula from Europe authorized by President Joe Biden to ease a worsening shortage in the US will arrive in Indiana this weekend aboard military planes, the White House announced Friday.

The White House says 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior Formula will leave Ramstein Air Base in Germany and arrive in the United States this weekend. A further 114 pallets of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula are expected to arrive in the coming days. In all, about 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of the three formulas, which are hypoallergenic for children with cow’s milk protein allergy, will arrive this week.

While Biden originally required the Pentagon to use commercially chartered planes to bring the formula from Europe to the US, the White House said no commercial flights were available this weekend. Instead, US Air Force planes will transport the first batch of the formula.

The Biden administration has dubbed the effort “Operation Fly Formula” as it struggles to address nationwide shortages of formulas, particularly hypoallergenic varieties, after the country’s largest domestic manufacturing facility shut down in February for safety reasons.

US regulators and manufacturer Abbott are hoping the Michigan plant will reopen next week, but it will be about two months before the product is ready to ship. The Food and Drug Administration eased import requirements for baby formula this week to alleviate supply shortages that have left some brands’ shelves empty and some retailers rationed supplies for parents nervous about feeding their children . The first formula flights from Europe arrive this weekend

Bobby Allyn

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