The White House reported today that the Department of Defense is responding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s request for “Operation Fly Formula” to transport Nestlé S.A. formula from Zurich, Switzerland to Plainfield, Indiana.
The Defense Department is now looking for qualified commercial aircraft to complete the mission.
The Operation Fly Formula shipments will transport the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas of Alfamino® Infant, Alfamino® Junior, and Gerber Good Start® Extensive HA brands. All are hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergy. These formulas have been prioritized because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure, the White House said. These shipments will include approximately 246 pallets.
President Biden launched Operation Fly Formula to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula to stores as soon as possible. Under Operation Fly Formula, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are authorized to use DOD-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster.
In addition, President Joe Biden directed his Administration to ensure there is enough safe infant formula for families, including invoking the Defense Production Act, entering into a consent agreement between the Food and Drug Administration to reopen Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis facility, and issuing FDA guidance to allow major formula manufacturers to safely import formula that is not currently being produced for the U.S. market.