Health

Inspector General To Investigate Biden’s Baby Formula Debacle

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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An Inspector General from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be digging into what exactly went wrong with the Biden administration’s handling of the nation-wide baby formula shortage, the agency said Thursday.

The ongoing shortage was triggered when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Abbott to initiate a recall of its formula, and shut down a major factory in Sturgis, Michigan, over safety concerns earlier this year. The office of the HHS Inspector General (IG) said it will investigate whether the FDA followed the proper inspection and recall process throughout the incident.

Specifically, the IG will examine whether the FDA acted properly prior to February, when the recall and shutdown were implemented, after a whistleblower alerted the agency to problems at the Sturgis plant in October 2021.

It took the FDA’s top food safety official four months to learn about the conditions of the Abbott facility after the whistleblower report was filed. Additionally, President Joe Biden has said publicly he was not aware of the full extent of the issue until April, months after the formula recall was initiated.

Abbott maintains that the FDA has wrongly linked it to illnesses found in babies which drank its formula since last year. The company claims that the bacteria found in its plant were away from production lines and did not match the infections found in children when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a genetic test. (RELATED: Biden Admin Knew The Baby Formula Shortage Was Coming In February)

The FDA and Abbott reached an agreement to restart production at the Michigan plant last month.