The CEO of Abbott Laboratories has apologized to the nation for the baby formula shortage in an article published in the Washington Post.
The closure of Abbott’s plant in Sturgis, Mich., led to a nationwide shortage of baby formula that has reached crisis proportions and dominated the news cycle. The plant was closed in February after four infants fell ill after consuming Abbott formula and an FDA inspection discovered microbial contamination at the plant.
In an op-ed in the May 21 issue, Abbott CEO Robert Ford pointed out that subsequent investigation did not reveal a direct genetic link between the bacteria that sickened the infants and the kind discovered in the plant. However, he added, “I have high expectations of this company, and we fell short of them.”
Ford detailed the actions that Abbott is taking to alleviate the shortage, including:
- Prioritizing the manufacturing of ElaCare, an Abbott product for children with digestive issues.
- Establishing a $5 million fund to help families that depend on ElaCare.
- Converting lines in other Abbott plants from adult nutrition products to baby formula.
- Expanding capacity and redundancy to guard against future shortages.