The problem began when one of the three main manufacturers of Infant Formula, a type of powdered milk that can be used as a substitute for breast milk, closed its doors after several reports of contamination between September last year and February this year.
Dozens of cases have been reported in which babies who took Abbott Nutrition’s Infant Formula became sick or even died. On February 17, the factory was closed by decision of the company itself, despite the same denying the relationship of contamination with a problem in the factory.
The FDA agency, which had been investigating the factory since January and continued until after its closure, identified several safety problems that led to contamination of the product by bacteria, which in turn harmed the babies.
Without this factory in operation (despite the expectation that it will reopen soon), Formula began to run out of supermarkets, and to alleviate the situation, the American government, following the request of President Joe Biden, began to import the product.
At the weekend, the first shipment arrived, with 35 tons of the Formula manufactured by Nestlé, aimed mainly at babies who are lactose intolerant.
For the mission, a USAF Boeing C-17 Globemaster III was used, the second largest US military freighter, behind Lockheed Martin’s C-5 Galaxy.
The large jet flew from the US base in Ramstein, Germany, to Indianapolis, Indiana, the second main air hub for FedEx, which will deliver across the country by plane and truck.
Infant formula was purchased from Nestlé from its Swiss-based factory, however, there are no commercial planes available to take the product to the US (due to the high demand for air cargo generated by the Pandemic). Thus, the call of the USAF military for this mission was made. The product followed by land to Germany, where it was loaded onto the C-17.
A second flight has already been agreed between the Department of Defense and Agriculture, however, this will be made to Washington, from where the Formula will go to a Nestlé factory in Pennsylvania, to then be distributed internally again by FedEx.
With information from the White House Press Office and FedEx