Good news regarding the nationwide shortage of baby formula: This past weekend an Air Force transporter plane has landed in Indiana and the delivery of 39 tons has started but this shipment will first go to hospitals and clinics across the country. Consumers are wondering if this shipment will be available at retail and grocery stores not only nationwide but locally in the Berkshires and all across the tri-state region. The answer: Shelves throughout Massachusetts are scheduled to be stocked within the next few weeks, but the wait continues.

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(Photo credit courtesy of Rainier Ridao on Unsplash)

Due to this ongoing crisis, parents are feeding their youngsters solid food at an earlier age as the practice is NOT endangering the health of babies, but it is best to exercise caution in this matter. Meanwhile, The CEO of Abbott Nutrition, Robert Ford has sincerely apologized about this worldwide shortage after an abrupt shut down occurred at their main plant in Michigan a few months ago. This stemmed when a quartet of babies suffered bacterial infections. Ford commented on a recent Washington Post article as to why this decision had to be made:

"We believe our voluntary recall was the right thing to do. We will NOT take risks when it comes to the health of children. Data collected during the investigation, genetic sequencing, retained product samples and available products from the four complaints did NOT find any connection between any of our products and the four reported illnesses in children" 

Due to this inconvenience, Abbott Nutrition will contribute a $5 million fund to assist families with medical and living expenses as their plant should also be back in operation by the first week in June. The Biden Administration also announced a second round of formula will depart from Germany and is scheduled to arrive at a Nestle facility in Pennsylvania by later this week.

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This shipment will be the equivalent of 5,000 eight ounce bottles which contain a special hypoallergenic formula that prevents complications for children with allergies to cow's milk and similar proteins and special dietary needs. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterated this latest shipment serves a critical, medical purpose but it will still be a matter of weeks before store shelves will be back into normal capacity.

Until this rectifies, stores will instill limits on formula that will be available for sale as this shortage is also due to a lack of supply and shortage of labor due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics show that 98% of baby formula is produced within The United States with added imports arriving from Mexico, The Netherlands and Ireland.

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BOTTOM LINE: Signs show this will rectify, but it's only a matter of time as this rampant problem will show a slow return, but these three words apply: "Pack Your Patience" 

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