First overseas shipment of 78,000 pounds of baby formula arrives in US

Last week, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to address the baby formula shortage in this country. Almost half of the nation’s retailers were out of stock on baby formula due to shortages and panic hoarding. Parents were frightened, and the Republicans were voting against any form of aid to alleviate the situation. But the House got the votes it needed, and measures were taken swiftly. Monday, 78,000 pounds of formula from overseas touched down in Indiana thanks to Operation Fly Formula.

The first batch of baby formula imported from abroad as part of Operation Fly Formula arrived in the United States over the weekend.

President Joe Biden announced on Twitter Sunday that the first international shipment was set to land as the nation grapples with the ongoing baby formula shortage.

“Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana,” Biden, 79, said in a tweet.

“Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it,” the president added.

The shipment is enough to fill over half a million baby bottles, the Associated Press reported, and weighs 78,000 pounds, per White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

According to ABC News, the aircraft that was transporting the shipment carried two types of baby formula — Nestlé Health Science Alfamino Infan and Alfamino Junior.

A second flight, carrying Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula, is expected to arrive sometime later this week.

Each formula, the outlet noted, is hypoallergenic and was created for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk protein.

The first flight, which departed from the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, delivered the much-needed formula to Indiana. The location was chosen as it’s home to a Nestlé distribution hub, per CBS News.

After the aircraft’s arrival, the baby formula was loaded into FedEx trucks. Nestlé is now set to take part in performing a standard quality control check on the delivery, which will then allow it to be distributed, the outlet added, citing an administration official who was on-site at the drop-off.

In a statement on Sunday, the president said a second Operation Fly Formula flight will transport the remaining Gerber formula to Washington Dulles International Airport. The infant formula will then be transported to a Nestlé facility in Pennsylvania from there.

[From People]

This is amazing news. I got choked up reading it and I don’t even know someone who is dependent on formula. We learned last week that hospitals will be prioritized in the distribution, but the good news is that enough is coming in that relief will be wide-spread, so long as retailers maintain purchase limits. In addition to median-income households, a separate bill in the House last week voted to source more foreign suppliers for the WIC program, which means low-income homes will also have access to formula. Remember WIC recipients were doubly hit because they could only purchase the three major brands who held the WIC contracts prior to this bill. And those were the very brands that had run out. Again, these are the right steps, and they are happening at the right time, which is now. As the article stated, Indiana is a distribution hub for Nestlé so they can expedite quality control checks and turn that formula around right away.

Everyone is riding on Biden’s coattails on this one, too. FedEx is plumping up its feathers about being the currier to get the baby formula out there. I’m laughing at their flex, but the truth is, they’ve got the network to do it, so I guess we have to let them have this one. Of course, Nestlé is using its Gerber brand as the face of this effort, so we associate it with their adorable brand babies and not their crimes against humanity. And just to circle back to my opening paragraph: 192 House Republicans voted against the $28M aid to address the formula shortage. This is on the heels of those same GOPers kvetching about Biden not doing enough to fix the situation. The GOP voted in favor of letting babies die just so they could continue to criticize the opposition. When we say voting matters, this is what we mean

My only note: Operation Fly Formula. Anyone who has every fed a baby is all too familiar with how that formula flies once the baby has eaten. Wasn’t there another name they could’ve come up with?

Photo credit: Instaram and Rainier Ridao and Lucy Wolski of Unsplash

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17 Responses to “First overseas shipment of 78,000 pounds of baby formula arrives in US”

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  1. J. Ferber says:

    Biden gets it done. If only Manchin hadn’t cut off most of the the President’s legislation at the knees. Manchin has got to go.

    • cer says:

      Manchin isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to and Sinema isn’t going anywhere either.
      So the Dems are going to have to not only keep all their seats but flip some.

  2. Well Wisher says:

    Thank you for amplifying this. Although this crisis was man made, it is wonderful that the Biden administration remains responsiveness to its citizens.

    • Well Wisher says:

      Edit – responsive to its citizens.
      I cannot take credit for the incorrect usage, new keyboard.

  3. Nikki says:

    My son & his husband are fostering to adopt a baby. They’ve been up at night (literally) searching for formula. This is welcome news!!

    • Andrew's_Nemesis says:

      Mazel-tov to your son and son in law! So glad that they can get the formula they need: fingers crossed on the adoption x

    • liz says:

      Congrats to your son and son-in-law! And I wish them the best with the baby! Happy, healthy and all that wonderful stuff!

  4. Denise says:

    So those same pro life Republicans are voting against formula now

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      That shocked me no end – it just proves that they do not care about the baby once its born, they have no shame is showing that they are prepared to let the baby starve to death.

      I just cannot understand why people vote for them or even think that is acceptable behaviour.

  5. Sakura says:

    Some Republican, somewhere, saying something shitty about this great thing in 3…2…1…

  6. The Hench says:

    Yep, VERY important that all those babies are born. Not so important that many of them don’t starve afterwards.

  7. Sakura says:

    The Republican Party is the party of blatant hypocrisy. No one should really be surprised they voted against the baby formula bill. They just wouldn’t be the GOP without that hypocrisy. So, I for one, am not at all shocked.

  8. aerohead21 says:

    I had to formula feed all 4 of my babies because I could not produce my own milk. As a cisgender woman, I felt bad about it then, and hearing republicans vote it down was just another painful reminder of how out of touch they are. So glad this is happening. Operation Fresh Formula.

  9. HeyKay says:

    FYI, it’s not just baby/infant formula shortage.

    People who need liquid nutrition such as G.I. issues, or with disabilities, swallowing difficulties,
    ALS, etc. there is also a supply problem with these products.
    Family member has feeding tube and currently these products which are medically prescription only are now in short supply. But, so far, the vendors are scrambling to find replacements items.

    There are so many things that the US Gov’t could help with but since the Repubs have spent the past 6 years arguing and bs-ing, nothing gets done and things keep breaking down.
    The list of “what’s the emergency today” that does not get fixed is huge, and constant, and neither party is even trying to work together anymore.

    And, 100% yes, the anti-abortion hardliners do not give one damn about quality of life for the humans that are alive and in need.

  10. Laugh Lines says:

    Just a heads up from Canada: we could have been helping weeks ago but thanks to the revisions of the new North American trade agreement that fat Orange Cheeto Trump insisted on (probably at the insistence of the CEOs that run the big food corps), Canadian formula manufacturers aren’t allowed. Mexican formula may still be allowed but that’s because the business model from there doesn’t provide the same potential threat to big US food corporations that Canada might. So now US government has to pay for flying shipments from overseas. You can thank Trump and his cronies/enablers.

    • emmi says:

      I was wondering about this. Of course it would be an issue to allow European brands without proper labels in English to just be shipped in but the reasoning that they aren’t FDA approved seems … well. There are a few immensely popular brands that have been around for decades. I don’t know a German baby that didn’t consume a HiPP product in the last 40 years. But Canada … is right there.

      Also, I had to look up WIC and can this be right? “Currently, WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.”

      • Blithe says:

        53 percent —or about half — sounds about right to me. Perhaps even a bit higher since COVID.

        Yes, that means that WIC is supporting many of the people who supposedly don’t believe in “big government” or “government overreach”.