- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2022

When it rains, it pours.

Abbott Laboratories had to stop production of its EleCare formula at the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, because storms flooded the plant, delaying output for a few weeks.

The company had restarted production less than two weeks ago after a lengthy regulatory shutdown that fueled a nationwide shortage in baby formula.

“Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains came through southwestern Michigan on Monday evening, resulting in high winds, hail, power outages and flood damage throughout the area,” the company said Wednesday. “These torrential storms produced significant rainfall in a short period of time – overwhelming the city’s stormwater system in Sturgis, Mich., and resulting in flooding in parts of the city, including areas of our plant.”

The good news is Abbott says it has enough existing supply of the specialty formula to keep things moving while they inspect the plant and reopen it in consultation with the FDA.

“Based upon historical demand and current projections, Abbott has ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available,” the company said. “These products are being released to consumers in need in coordination with healthcare professionals.”

Abbott is trying to get back to normal after a months-long shutdown due to safety concerns at the Sturgis plant.

Regularly confusion around the lengthy shutdown became a black eye for the Biden administration, which was caught flat-footed by a resulting formula shortage. The episode raised questions about whether the U.S. is too reliant on a few companies for baby formula.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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