Sun | Jul 3, 2022

78,000lbs of baby formula shipped

Published:Monday | May 23, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Crew members of a C-17 begin to unload baby formula at the Indianapolis International Airport on Sunday. The 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula arrived from Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Crew members of a C-17 begin to unload baby formula at the Indianapolis International Airport on Sunday. The 132 pallets of Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infant and Alfamino Junior formula arrived from Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP):

A military plane carrying enough speciality infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis, the first of several flights expected from Europe aimed at relieving a shortage that has sent parents scrambling to find enough to feed their children.

President Joe Biden authorised the use of Air Force planes for the effort, dubbed Operation Fly Formula, because no commercial flights were available.

The formula weighed 78,000lb (35,380kg), White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from South Korea to Japan.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis to greet the arrival of the first shipment.

The flights are intended to provide “some incremental relief in the coming days” as the government works on a more lasting response to the shortage, Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Sunday.

Deese told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ that Sunday’s flight brought 15 per cent of the speciality medical-grade formula needed in the US, and because of various actions by the government, people should see “more formula in stores starting as early as this week”.

Longer term, he said, the US needs more formula providers “so that no individual company has this much control over supply chains”.

The Biden administration has struggled to address the nationwide shortage of formula, particularly hypoallergenic varieties. The crisis follows the closure of the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in Michigan in February due to safety issues.