Michigan Abbott baby formula plant under DoJ probe for bacteria traces
If reopened, the company will also have to report to the FDA any contaminations found and "conduct a root-cause investigation before resuming production."
The Abbott Laboratories infant-formula plant, located in the state of Michigan in the US, is now the subject of an investigation by the US Department of Justice, which according to the Wall Street Journal, was the reason for the facility's closure in 2022 and in turn caused a widespread shortage of baby formula.
An Abbott spokesman confirmed to the WSJ that "The DoJ has informed us of its investigation, and we're cooperating fully," - the investigation is being carried out by lawyers pertaining to the consumer-protection branch of the US DoJ.
After it recalled its formula in February 2022 for bacterial contamination, baby formula became a scarcity across the US as Abbott, considered one of the biggest formula manufacturers, shut down its plant. According to Datasembly in April 2022, a consumer product data analytics firm, the shortage increased to 31%.
The recall happened after federal officials reported that four babies suffered bacterial infections from the baby formula made at Abbott's factory in Sturgis, Michigan. On account of that, House Democrats proposed an emergency $28 million bill to address the baby formula shortage in the country.
The bill aimed to provide the FDA with funds to increase its staff, aiming to help inspect baby formula before it arrives in stores and prepare for potential future shortages.