Baby formula: FDA says supply shortage should be eased ‘within days,’ back to normal in ‘few weeks’

The head of the Food and Drug Administration said parents who have been met with empty shelves when they are seeking baby formula for their children “should begin to see improvement” shortly.

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FDA Commissioner Robert Califf testified Thursday before a House appropriations subcommittee, telling lawmakers that formula should start reappearing at stores “within days,” NBC News reported.

>>Related: House panel to examine baby formula shortage; when will it be available?

Califf said that manufacturers have increased output and imports with help from military planes have begun.

He also said that Abbott Nutrition’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan, should resume production by next week the following week at the latest.

“We had to wrestle this to ground with Abbott,” Califf testified, according to The Associated Press. “I think we are on track to get it open within the next week to two weeks.”

But Abbott officials said that while they can get the plant started, it will still take about two months before the newly-produced formula arrives in stores.

Califf said it would be “a few weeks” until supplies return to normal levels, especially in rural areas, the AP reported.

>>Related: Baby formula shortage: Biden invokes Defense Production Act

The Sturgis plant was shut down after an FDA inspection in January found “significant operational deficiencies” and a bacterium that could expose babies to a severe foodborne illness in babies, NBC News reported.

Abbott said its own investigation found “no evidence” linking the formula the plant produced to any illness, but the company did make corrections on “a number of issues,” NBC News reported.

>>Related: Baby formula: What is the Defense Production Act and how will it help the shortage

The Biden administration has instituted several measures to help alleviate supply issues, including authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act and calling for a crackdown on price gouging.

Previous coverage:

Baby formula shortage: Biden announces steps to help lessen supply chain issues

Baby formula maker Abbott reaches agreement to restart largest production plant

Why is there a baby formula shortage; what can parents do?

Baby formula shortage: What parents need to know

Baby formula shortage: FDA approves plan to release some Abbott-produced formula

Baby formula shortage worsens, nearly 30% of popular brands sold out

Recall alert: More Similac baby formula added to recall list

American Academy of Pediatrics offer new guidance for parents who can’t get formula

FDA closes investigation into contaminated powdered infant formula produced by Abbott Nutrition