STURGIS, MI – The Abbott baby formula plant, the same one that was infamously closed down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier in 2022, has been temporarily closed down once again – this time for alleged weather damage.

CNN reports that the Abbott plant “has stopped production of EleCare formula in its Sturgis, Michigan, plant after severe storms led to flooding inside the plant,” with the company claiming that the production of new formula could be delayed for a few weeks as a result of the damage caused by storms.

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The company issued a statement on June 15th regarding the matter, claiming that the storms that ripped through southwestern Michigan earlier in the month resulted in “high winds, hail, power outages, and flood damage throughout the area.”

Abbott noted in their statement that production will cease while they conduct an assessment of the damage done and later engage in cleaning and whatever repairs are necessary to resume operations.

Per the company, they “have informed FDA and will conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production. This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks.”

Despite the shutdown as a result of the storms, Abbott claims they have “ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available,” adding that such products are being “released to consumers in need in coordination with healthcare professionals.”

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On June 15th, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf issued a statement via Twitter pertaining to the Abbott plant having to shut down temporarily, writing, “Today, we were made aware of the weather-related situation at Abbott’s Sturgis, Mich. facility. I personally spoke to the CEO tonight and we discussed our shared desire to get the facility up and running again as quickly as possible.”

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Back in February of this year, the Abbott plant in question was subjected to a nearly four-month shutdown after the FDA asserted that a spate of infant illnesses may have been linked to the formula produced at the Abbott plant in Michigan.

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This particular shut down by the FDA is what largely resulted in the baby formula shortage that started to flesh out during the months of April and May.

On May 16th, the Abbott facility entered into a “consent decree” with the FDA that provided steps for them to reopen their plant, with the aforementioned consent decree noting that, “After a thorough investigation by FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Abbott, and review of all available data, there is no conclusive evidence to link Abbott’s formulas to these infant illnesses.”

By June 4th, operations were resumed in the Abbott plant.

This piece was written by Gregory Hoyt on June 16, 2022. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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