The Department of Justice is investigating the Abbott infant formula factory


The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Abbott Laboratories baby formula plant in Michigan that shut down operations for several months last year. due to pollutionconfirmed the company.

Closure of the plant in February 2022 a national infant formula shortage This has left parents scrambling for formula at food banks, friends and doctors’ offices. Production resumed in June.

The Justice Department has notified Abbott of the investigation and the company is “cooperating fully,” Abbott spokesman Scott Stoffel said in an email. He declined to provide further details.

The investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which said the Justice Department’s consumer protection division was investigating the practices that led to the shutdown at the Sturgis, Michigan plant.

Abbott closed the factory after the Food and Drug Administration began investigating four bacterial infections in babies who consumed powdered formula from the factory. Inspectors found several violations at the plant, including bacterial contamination, a leaking roof and violations of safety protocols. But Abbott said its products have not been directly linked to infections involving different strains of bacteria.

Abbott is one of four companies that make 90% of U.S. formula, and its February recall of several major brands, including Similac, has cut supplies, which have been hampered by supply chain disruptions. Delivery and storage during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The shortage was especially acute children with allergies, digestive problems and metabolic disorders based on special formulas. The Abbott factory is the sole source of most of these products.

The FDA was heavily criticized for closing the plant and then taking months to negotiate its reopening.

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