President Biden invoked an emergency mobilization measure Wednesday as his administration scrambles to stem the ongoing infant formula shortage.
The invocation of the Defense Production Act will require suppliers to prioritize sending resources to formula producers ahead of other customers.
“Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up … supply chains,” the White House said Wednesday.
The administration also announced measures to streamline the process for importing foreign-produced formula.
Under what the White House calls “Operation Fly Formula,” the Health and Human Services and Agriculture departments will use Pentagon-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards.
The move lets the carriers bypass regular air-freight routes, which the White House says will speed up final delivery to store shelves.
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The imported products, however, will have to meet Food and Drug Administration safety standards.
“Today’s steps further underscore the Administration’s commitment to addressing the formula shortage quickly and safely, and the Administration will continue working overtime to get more formula to stores as soon as possible,” the White House said.