Baby formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition has reopened its plant in Michigan following a halt in production in June that contributed to infant formula scarcity across the country. John Koval, an Abbott representative, told NBC that after a factory reset on July 1, the plant started making EleCare, a specialized formula for newborns with digestive issues and severe allergies. In the upcoming weeks, Abbott intends to resume reproduction on many formulations, including Similac. Koval stated, “We are working to restart Similac production as soon as we can. We’ll provide more information when we have it.”
In February, the Michigan factory was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration over contamination worries, after receiving reports of children developing bacterial illnesses after ingesting formula produced at the facility. The Biden administration used the Defense Production Act to prioritize domestic infant formula production, airlift formula from Europe, and relax import regulations for foreign producers as a result of the shutdown, which exacerbated an already-stressed supply chain. The scarcity of infant formula forced parents to look for formula online and across state borders. The company resumed operations in early June, however, it was forced to close once again following flooding caused by heavy rain.