FDA acknowledges delays in response to baby formula shortage

The FDA acknowledged Tuesday that its response to the infant formula shortage was slowed by delays in processing a whistleblower complaint and test samples from the nation’s largest formula factory.

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged Tuesday that its response to the U.S. infant formula shortage was slowed by delays in processing a whistleblower complaint and test samples from the nation’s largest formula factory.

A 10-page report from the agency offers its first formal account of the factors that led to the ongoing shortage, which has forced the U.S. to airlift millions of pounds of powdered formula from overseas.

The review zeroed in on several key problems at the agency, including outdated data-sharing systems, inadequate staffing and training among its food inspectors, and poor visibility into formula supply chains and manufacturing procedures.

“For things that are critical to the public health, if you don’t have some understanding of how all the pieces fit together, then when you get into a crisis or a shortage you have a real problem,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told The Associated Press in an interview. “To a large extent that’s what happened here.”

Califf said the FDA will seek new authority to compel companies to turn over key information.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fda-acknowledges-delays-response-baby-formula-shortage-rcna48874


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