Nestle to supply baby formula from Europe to US due to shortage
Nestle SA said it would be delivering baby formula to the United States from its plants in Switzerland and the Netherlands to help ease up the shortage in U.S. markets. The company announced on Tuesday, May 17, that it will supply Alfamino and Gerber baby formula brands to America.
As per Reuters, parents are panicking as they can no longer find any infant milk formulas in supermarkets as the shelves are always empty these days. The shortage started when Abbott Laboratories, a leading medical devices and health care company in the U.S., recalled several types of its popular baby formula brands, including Similac, EleCare, and Alimnetum.
The milk formula manufacturer issued a recall on the said brands in February following the deaths of two infants who contracted a rare kind of infection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) carried out an investigation on Abbott and discovered traces of the pathogen Cronobacter sakazakii in its plant in Michigan.
Abbott explained that the said pathogen may have been found in environmental testing during the investigation, but it has not been linked to any infant illness. It also stated that no distributed product was ever tested positive for the presence of any bacteria such as Salmonella Newport and Cronobacter sakasakii, based on the tests. But still, the company still issued the recall due to the complaints it received.
"While Abbott's testing of finished product detected no pathogens, we are taking action by recalling the powder formula manufactured in this facility with an expiration of April 1, 2022, or later," Abbott stated in a press release at that time. "No Abbott liquid formulas, powder formulas, or nutrition products from other facilities are impacted by the recall."
As this incident led to the formula shortage, Nestle will help alleviate the problem by bringing its infant milk formula products to the U.S. the company will be rushing the deliveries as the shortage has now reached the nationwide level.
"We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose as they are for babies with cow's milk protein allergies," Nestle stated. "Both products (Alfamino and Gerber) were already being imported but we moved shipments up and rushed via air to help fill immediate needs."
Meanwhile, Reckitt Benckiser is also increasing its production of infant formula by 30% to help combat the shortage. It has also upped the frequency of its deliveries to stores and groceries in the U.S.