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US to diversify infant formula industry to avoid shortages

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced plans to help overseas producers that have sent supplies to the U.S. under emergency approval.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is trying to help foreign makers of baby formula stay on the U.S. market for the long term, in an effort to diversify the industry after the closure of the largest domestic plant sparked a nationwide shortage.

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced plans to help overseas producers that have sent supplies to the United States, under emergency approval to address the shortfall, secure long-term authorization to market their formula in the U.S.

The agency will provide a way for producers temporarily selling in the U.S. to meet existing regulatory requirements so they can stay on the market, providing consumers with more choices and making supplies more resilient against current and future shortages.

The FDA will also host meetings and provide producers with a single point of contact to work through the regulatory system to make the application process more efficient.

“The need to diversify and strengthen the U.S. infant formula supply is more important than ever,” said the FDA commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, and Susan Mayne, the director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in a statement. “The recent shutdown of a major infant formula plant, compounded by unforeseen natural weather events, has shown just how vulnerable the supply chain has become.”

 

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