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Biden invokes Defense Production Act, 'Operation Fly Formula' to address shortage

( Fox )

President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to address the Wednesday and directed his administration to use Defense Department aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards to address the formula shortage grappling the nation.

The White House on Wednesday said that the president has "directed his team to do everything possible to ensure that there is enough safe infant formula in the country and available for families that need it" amid the voluntary recall of formula by Abbot Nutrition.

Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure that manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to make "safe, healthy infant formula here at home."

"The President is requiring suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good," the White House said. "Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains."

The White House also announced the launch of its new program, "Operation Fly Formula" to speed up the import of infant formula and get more formula to stores in the United States as soon as possible.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to use Department of Defense commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, "so it can get to store shelves faster."

The White House said DOD will use its contracts with commercial air cargo lines, as it did to move materials during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, to transport products from manufacturing facilities abroad that have met Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards.

"Bypassing regular air freighting routes will speed up the importation and distribution of formula and serve as an immediate support as manufacturers continue to ramp up production," the White House said.

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