Today, President Joe Biden spoke with the leadership of Walmart and Target, and the infant formula manufacturers Reckitt and Gerber to receive an update on actions the companies are taking to address the shortage of infant formula caused by a voluntary recall of infant powdered formula by Abbott and the subsequent closure of its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan.
The manufacturers and retailers thanked the President for the actions his administration has taken—including those by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—that has enabled them to serve the families in need, including low income mothers and children who are most vulnerable.
The President discussed Reckitt and Gerber’s efforts to increase production—which have made up for much of the loss of production by Abbott—and pledged to work closely with them to identify ways the Administration can help, on top of the actions being announced today. Both companies stated that they are operating 24/7 with Gerber, increasing the amount of their infant formula available to consumers by approximately 50% in March and April. Reckitt is supplying more than 30% more product year to date.
The conversation with the CEOs of Walmart and Target focused on how retailers are working to stock shelves. The CEOs discussed state specific disparities and the President asked what more his team can do to help move product and get more product to communities in need. These calls build off the work the Administration has done since February to increase the supply of infant formula.