Today, the Department of Defense (DOD) is sourcing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s request for Operation Fly Formula to transport Nestlé S.A. formula from Zurich, Switzerland to Plainfield, Indiana. DOD is actively working the request to identify commercial aircraft.
The Operation Fly Formula shipments will transport the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas—Alfamino® Infant, Alfamino® Junior, and Gerber Good Start® Extensive HA—all of which are hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergy. These formulas have been prioritized because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure. These shipments will include approximately 246 pallets.
President Biden launched Operation Fly Formula to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula to stores as soon as possible. Under Operation Fly Formula, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are authorized to use DOD-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster. In addition, President Biden has directed his Administration to take a number of other important actions to ensure there is enough safe infant formula for families, including invoking the Defense Production Act, entering into a consent agreement between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reopen Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis facility, and issuing FDA guidance to allow major formula manufacturers to safely import formula that is not currently being produced for the U.S. market.