US to import baby formula from Mexico, but parents must wait until July to buy it

In a Friday update, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that about 1.3 million cans of Gerber Good Start Gentle infant formula would be imported from Mexico to the U.S.

The shipment of nearly 33 million full-size, 8-ounce bottles – or 2.2 million pounds – is expected to be available from Nestlé on Gerber’s website and at key retailers starting in July and extending through October.

“The FDA is exercising enforcement discretion for the importation of Gerber Good Start Gentle from Nestlé (Mexico) following the review of info provided pertaining to nutritional adequacy and safety including testing, labeling and facility production [and] inspection history,” the agency tweeted

The FDA said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is evaluating options for getting the products to the U.S. as quickly as possible amid the nationwide baby formula shortage.

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“The FDA will continue to dedicate all available resources to help ensure that safe and nutritious infant formula products remain available for use in the U.S. and will keep the public informed of progress updates,” it pledged.

It said it remains in further discussions with manufacturers and suppliers regarding additional supply and that its work to combat the shortage has “already begun to improve supply and availability.”

“The agency expects that the measures and steps it is taking, and the potential for Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility to safely resume production in the near-term, will mean more and more supply is on the way or on store shelves moving forward,” it wrote in a Friday news release.

Global companies that make baby formula are bringing products into the U.S. after the FDA relaxed its import policy to address the issue.

The imports announcement came after regulators said they’d reached a deal to allow Abbott Nutrition to restart its Michigan plant.

The plant has been closed since February due to contamination issues.

Since then, under the Biden administration’s “Operation Fly Formula,” additional shipments have come from overseas, with more ordered earlier this week.

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President Biden told reporters on Wednesday that he was not aware of the severity of then-prospective nationwide baby formula shortages until April.

The HHS Inspector General said Thursday that it would audit the FDA’s decision to close the Abbott plant.

 

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