Abbott Fires Back After Alarming Psaki Claim About Their Baby Formula – Opinion

The White House blames the problem of baby formula shortages on an FDA recall from February which led to closing an Abbott manufacturing plant.

This was done largely in order to not recognize that formula supply has been affected by ongoing supply chain problems since last year.

There have also been concerns about the FDA’s handling of the issues alleged regarding the Abbott facility. A whistleblower identified concerns to the FDA in October, but the FDA didn’t inspect the plant until January. The plant was closed due to contamination in February after two babies died and four were taken to hospital. There has been no attempt to reopen the plant safely since then. It’s now May, and the plant still isn’t open. Abbott is the biggest producer of formula in the United States and accounts for more than half of all the product. That’s why keeping it shut down is so significant.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that there were “babies who died as a result of taking this formula.”

Abbott called out Psaki, An 11-tweet Twitter thread stated that they were not able to prove this. It boils down to them saying it wasn’t their formula, based on the evidence adduced so far.

The White House Press Secretary misunderstoodly stated that the formulas we used had been poisoned, and this mistake resulted in the deaths of two children. These infant deaths are tragic.

However, these facts prove that the formulas did not cause infant diseases. Specifically…
The CDC concluded that there was no link between formulas and infant diseases.

Before distribution, we conduct microbiological tests on all products. No Abbott formula was found to be positive for Salmonella or Cronobacter.
All the products retained were tested at the FDA by Abbott during inspection. They came back negative for Salmonella. The Sturgis facility was free of Salmonella. The Cronobacter Sakazakii found during environmental testing was not in product contact areas and was therefore unrelated to infant illnesses. Our plant did not have any Cronobacter strains that were genetically sequenced on two of the infant samples. The two samples from the ill infants were not compatible, so there wasn’t any connection.

All four of these cases saw samples from the Abbott formula tested by the FDA, CDC, and/or the state. In all four cases, all unopened containers tested negative. Three of four infants’ homes were tested for open containers. Two of them tested positive. The one positive was from an open container from the home of the infant, and it tested positive for two different strains of Cronobacter sakazakii…one of which matched the strain that caused the infant’s infection, and the other matched a strain found on a bottle of distilled water in the home used to mix the formula. Again, none of the strains tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii were found in our facility. Four different formulas were used to feed the infants over almost one year. Three different illnesses developed over several months.

This formula did not inflict these illnesses on infants.

Now, according to NBC, this isn’t Abbott just spinning; there may be something to what they are saying.

Last month, however, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News none of the bacterial strains taken at the Abbott plant matched those collected from the infants, and the agencies haven’t offered an explanation for how the contamination occurred.

For its part, Abbott says its formula “is not likely the source of infection,” though the FDA says its investigation continues.

Psaki blames them, but the investigation continues. It looks as though this might be false. On her last day on her way out the door–what a way to go.

How is FDA trying to fix the problem? Since February, the plant was shut down. Abbott said they were able to start production again in two weeks provided that the FDA approves. It would take however longer to distribute the product to shelves. We’re not hearing any answer to that.

In the meantime, Sen. John Kennedy (Republican from Louisiana) tweeted that Abbott was offering formula free of charge to those who are in dire need.

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