A whistleblower from Abbott Nutrition sent a letter to Janet Woodcock (acting Commissioner), last October. He said that there were serious problems at the Sturgis, Mich. facility.
The FDA Commissioner Robert Califf will testify today before a congressional panel that top FDA officials weren’t aware of the whistleblower report due to “mailroom issues.”
Hundreds of infants are being admitted to hospitals because the special formula they rely on for survival is out of stock.
The FDA also had “mailroom problems.”
Politico: FDA officials have not commented on the delay between last September’s first report of a bacterial outbreak at the plant and their inspection in the winter. This inspection revealed a variety of food safety issues, as well as the recall. The new details won’t be able to dampen the outrage at the agency.
“The FDA dropped the ball at every stage of this process,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), said to Politico about the new details in the testimony. It put infants in danger.”
It gets worse. Despite receiving the first reports of possible contamination in January, Sturgis didn’t close its doors until mid-February. There were discussions within the FDA about possible supply disruptions even before that. This was crucial because half of the US infant formula supply to the WIC program (the government food program for infants raised mostly by single mothers) came from Abbott.
In the prepared testimony, the FDA timeline shows that the FDA did not hold interagency talks about possible supply chain disruptions until February 14, three days after the Abbott Nutrition plant was shut down. The FDA also issued a recall of the formula. The agency also failed to notify the Agriculture Department about possible disruptions, which oversees a vital federal nutrition program that buys about half the nation’s infant formula. This was a week before the Abbott facility shut down. WIC is a program that serves nearly 1.2 million children from low-income households. Abbott supplies almost half of the infant formula that is provided by WIC state contracts.
Despite receiving warnings last autumn, why did the FDA take until January to start its inspection at Abbott’s Sturgis facility? The FDA attributes Sturgis’ staff for delaying their inspection due to COVID-19 staffing problems.
Despite parents screaming for more formula in the first two weeks of May, when the issue became public, it was not until May 16th that Abbott and the government agreed to reopen the Sturgis plant.
The White House is trying to distract media attention from the FDA by playing dumb.
The White House also shied away from questions regarding its timeline for responding to the recall, and subsequent shortages. Politico asked a senior official from the White House when they informed the FDA of the Sturgis issues and whether there were any shortage concerns. The official replied that the FDA had made the recall public on February 17.
Because of the incompetence and stupidity of big government, what should have been a temporary supply disruption has turned into a national crisis. The media has already argued that this is not Biden’s fault. They claim that shortages were caused by the pandemic and that the company was responsible for operating an unsanitary plant.
The very regulations and procedures that were created by the government to address a crisis such as this collapsed in a spectacular fashion. Biden is the culprit.