Biden invokes Defense Production Act for baby formula

STORY: With supplies of baby formula at a dire low across the U.S., President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act, directing ingredients towards manufacturers to try and ramp up inventory in the coming weeks and months.

"I know parents all across the country are worried about finding enough infant formula to feed their babies. As a parent and a grandparent, I know just how stressful that is."

The Defense Production Act gives the government the ability to require suppliers to direct needed resources to infant formula manufacturers before any other customer who may have ordered that good."

Baby formula stocks at U.S. supermarkets have been decimated, after the nation's top manufacturer Abbott Laboratories recalled its products in February, owing to complaints of bacterial infections in infants.

Analysts say inflation and supply chain snags have compounded the shortage.

Biden said he would also bolster supplies by stepping up efforts to import baby formula from overseas.

"I'm also announcing Operation Fly Formula."

"I've directed the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send aircraft planes overseas to pick up infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards so we can get it on the store shelves faster."

On Monday, Abbott said it had reached an agreement with health regulators, a major step towards resuming production at its key plant in Michigan.