According to the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the nation’s newborn Formula crisis would likely not be entirely remedied until late July. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told the Senate Health Committee that it will take time to get to the point where shop shelves are completely filled, but that there will eventually be a surplus.
“Within two months, I expect us to be far beyond average, and with a plethora,” Califf added. “It will be a gradual improvement up until perhaps about two months before the shelves are restocked.” According to Califf, a conversation about whether the government should construct a national stockpile of Formula “as a backup” to protect against future interruptions will need to take place.
Califf spoke in the Senate for the second time in as many days to angry legislators over the agency’s response to the Formula disaster. Califf acknowledged to being too slow to respond to allegations that children were being hospitalized after drinking Formula made at Abbott Nutrition’s Michigan factory during a House hearing on Wednesday and again in the Senate on Thursday.
Following an FDA inspection in mid-February, the factory was shut down due to unclean conditions and several strains of a disease that may be fatal to newborns. After contracting the germs, four infants were hospitalized, with two of them dying. The FDA, on the other hand, has been unable to establish a definitive link between the germs detected in Abbott’s factory and the ones found in ill newborns.