The Abbott Baby Formula Shortage Health and Human Services Shares Information
Families in our community are struggling to find baby formula. We find ourselves in one of those situations that seem unbelievable for what is the wealthiest country on the planet. The challenge was set in motion when the FDA shut down the Abbott manufacturing facility after the death of two infants who contracted a bacterial infection from drinking the formula.
It makes you wonder why Abbott only had one factory. A business cannot be sustained if one point of failure shuts you completely down. Where is the competition in the baby formula business? How did the factory go unchecked for so long that the only course of action was to shutdown? Do we blame greed? Consolidation? Capitalism? We reached out to Health and Human Services to find out what's going on. Antrell Tyson is the new Health and Human Services Region 4, Director. Region 4 consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Tyson explains the program “Fly Formula” from the Biden-Harris, administration. This effort involves the private industry supplying the nation with baby formula from other countries. One of the latest shipments arrived in Texas this week. Parents who need assistance can visit: hhs.gov/formula. In addition to ltting families know where they can find the baby formula, they also share transition tips for switching from one formula to another.
The Abbott facility has re-opened, and indicated it will take approximately three weeks for production to reach the numbers needed to alleviate this challenge. Business schools will study and discuss this debacle for decades. The food scientists in our community should see this as a need to be met and begin drawing up business plans. Hopefully, Abbott will put in place the needed backup systems that will allow them to service this complicated community’s needs without a complete shutdown.
Tyson shares that he is homegrown and from Decatur, GA and this position has allowed him to return home. I ask Tyson what his focus will be while in the position. He shares that the number one issue will be a focus on behavioral health and mental health. He wants to make sure people know about the resources that are available. In June they will launch the new #988 number for suicide prevention. He also speaks about the ongoing COVID19 Pandemic and Georgia’s dismal maternal mortality rates.