FDA to investigate delay in baby formula plant inspection, commissioner says

Robert Califf said it’s “likely” Abbott Nutrition will resume operations at its Michigan plant within two weeks. He added that the FDA could make an announcement Monday about importing formula from abroad.

Shelves typically stocked with baby formula sit mostly empty at a store in San Antonio, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Parents across the U.S. are scrambling to find baby formula because supply disruptions and a massive safety recall have swept many leading brands off store shelves. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said Monday that the agency will investigate why it took so long to dispatch inspectors to the Abbott Nutrition baby formula plant in Michigan.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, anchor Savannah Guthrie said that the FDA received the first report in September about a sick baby whose infection was allegedly linked to baby formula produced at the plant in Sturgis, Michigan. A detailed whistleblower report about alleged safety lapses at the plant came out in October, but the FDA didn’t send inspectors to the facility until January.

Asked if the FDA was too slow to respond, Califf said, “We always want to be as fast as we can possibly be while also being diligent, remembering, as shown by this example, that if we didn’t close the plant, then we have a supply shortage, so we have to get this right.”

Read more on NBC News here.