In an effort to mitigate the U.S. baby formula crisis, The White House has approved “Operation Fly Formula” to expedite the import of baby formula manufactured overseas that meets U.S. health and safety standards.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby spoke at a news conference outlining the details of the operation and the role of the Department of Defense in the mission.
“Operation Fly Formula” is a coordinated effort across several federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Defense, Kirby explained. The Department of Defense will provide DOD-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up the formula and accelerate its delivery to the United States and onto store shelves as quickly as possible.
Kirby added that he could not speak to specific flights or quantities of formula but stated that the interagency plan was in “active coordination.”
The severe shortage of baby formula was triggered by the shuttering of Abbott Nutrition's Michigan factory due to suspected contamination in February. Abbott Nutrition is one of the largest infant formula manufacturers in the U.S. Inflation and supply chain issues have also contributed to the national crisis.