Abbott Nutrition CEO Robert Ford apologized on Saturday for the nationwide baby formula shortage, writing that his firm is “sorry” for the crisis and vowing to prioritize its most vital products.
The low supply of baby formula has been worsening for months. The White House’s website explains that on February 17, Abbott Nutrition “initiated a voluntary recall of several lines of powdered formula” from its facility in Sturgis, Michigan, amid concerns over bacterial contamination.
Federal agencies have been working “diligently over the last few months to address the shortfall in infant formula production” while the plant remains shuttered, according to the White House.
Ford said in a Washington Post opinion piece that his firm takes “great pride in manufacturing nutrition and formula to feed America’s infants, including our most vulnerable” — but recognized that “the past few months have distressed us as they have you.”
“And so I want to say: We’re sorry to every family we’ve let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation’s baby formula shortage,” he wrote.
“We believe our voluntary recall was the right thing to do,” Ford continued. “We will not take risks when it comes to the health of children. The data collected during the investigation, genetic sequencing, retained product samples and available product from the four complaints did not find any connection between our products and the four reported illnesses in children. However, the FDA’s investigation did discover a bacteria in our plant that we will not tolerate. I have high expectations of this company, and we fell short of them.”
Ford especially mourned the shortage of EleCare — a formula for children who are unable to digest other products — and vowed to prioritize its production once manufacturing resumes. In the meantime, Abbott launched a $5 million fund to aid parents whose children have been hospitalized due to the shortage.
“I will not mince words — this is tragic and heartbreaking, and it is consuming my thoughts and those of my colleagues,” Ford added.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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