US Health Secretary Invokes Defense Production Act 3rd Time to Boost Infant Formula Supply
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act for the third time over a one-week period to boost infant formula production amid acute shortages.
"US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra today invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) for a third time in less than a week, moving to ensure Cargill Inc. (Cargill) can deliver the raw materials to maximize production of infant formula," the department said in a press release.
The invocation will allow Cargill Inc. to place certain orders for infant formula manufacturers ahead of others to ensure such manufacturers can start production at full capacity as soon as possible to address the existing shortage, the release said.
On May 18, the Biden administration invoked the Defense Production Act to boost production of infant formula and to use US military cargo airplanes in order to expedite overseas shipments of the product. Since then, at least 1.5 million eight-ounce bottles of infant formula have been transported from Switzerland to Indiana to help alleviate the shortages.
On May 22, Becerra invoked the Defense Production Act for a second time to authorize manufacturers Abbott Nutrition and Mead Johnson/Reckitt to obtain raw materials and consumables needed to accelerate the production of infant formula.