FDA And Abbott Reach An Agreement To Resume Baby Formula Production

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Encouraging news for parents struggling to find formula for their children, the FDA has authorized Abbott, the largest marker of baby formula in the country, to restart production at a plant tied to the shortage.

The FDA is also loosening regulations that prohibit the import of baby formula from other countries in order to give people more options.

This is all happening as people locally are turning to whatever safe means they can to feed their children.

Parents across the Carolinas being told to contact their pediatrician first if they need help with the baby formula shortage.

“Most babies are going to be okay with you switching that formula,” Amy Cunningham of Atrium Health said.

Local health experts advise against making your own formula at home or diluting it.

“Again you are diluting the calories. You are diluting the nutrition that your child would get,” Cunningham said. “And that could cause harm.”

For weeks now, baby formula has been hard to come by as supply chain issues and a massive recall wreck havoc on the industry.

“Our focus right now is on making sure we get every infant taken care of around the country,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said.

The Food and Drug Administration is now loosening regulations to allow for the import of more formula.

“We do have adequate supply for at this point, it’s just that the supply is not necessarily in the right place,” Califf said. “We’re needing to help parents find the formula that they need.”

Parents are driving for hours in search of formula on shelves. Some are turning to social media to find people willing to donate breast milk. Others are contacting milk banks to see if they are eligible to receive milk. Typically, the milk goes to hospitals or patients with a prescription from their doctor.

“We kind of looked at the situation and said, you know what else can we do,” Mike Estramonte of StarMed Health said.

Locally, Mike Estramonte, the head of StarMed Health says they’ll be giving away more than 360 containers of formula Tuesday morning. An effort to ease the burden on parents.

“We’re trying to get as much here as we can so we can give it out to the neighborhood and the community,” Estramonte said.