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Nestlé Ships Baby Formula From Switzerland, Netherlands Amid US Shortages

A woman shops for baby formula at Target in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 16, 2022, as a nationwide shortage of baby formula continues.

Swiss food giant Nestlé is to fly baby formula from Switzerland and the Netherlands to the United States amid shortages there, a group spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Swiss group will specifically import two brands of hypoallergenic milk, as the shortage has become an additional source of stress for parents of babies intolerant of cow's milk protein.

"We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose," the spokeswoman told AFP, confirming a press report.

The two brands are already imported: Gerber Good Start Extensive HA milk from the Netherlands, and Alfamino milk from Switzerland.

Faced with the shortage, Nestlé decided to airlift the milk "to help fill immediate needs," said the group, which also has two factories in the United States producing infant formula.

Initially caused by supply chain problems and a shortage of workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the formula shortage worsened in February when an Abbott factory in Michigan closed after a recall of products suspected of causing the deaths of two babies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the milk but issued a "483" form alleging irregularities at the plant, Abbott said Friday, adding that it "immediately" began implementing corrective measures.

On Monday, Abbott reached an agreement with U.S. authorities to restart production at the plant.

The White House is in constant contact with the four major manufacturers — Nestlé, Reckitt, Abbott and Perrigo — to identify transportation, logistics and supplier barriers to increasing production.