Millions of cans of baby formula made in Ireland being flown to the US 

Country is in the grip of a shortage  due to recalls and supply chain issues
Millions of cans of baby formula made in Ireland being flown to the US 

Abbott's facility in Cootehill, Co Cavan produces formula sourcing ingredients from approximately 1,000 dairy farms in the area.

Millions of cans of baby formula made in Ireland have been shipped by air transport to the US to address the crippling shortage affecting the country.

Supply chain issues compounded by historic inflation levels and some product recalls meant shelves across the US have been running short of the product.

One of the country's biggest manufacturers, Abbott, who produces the Similac rage of infant formulas operates a significant facility in Cootehill, Co Cavan. 

In a statement, Abbott said they have now air shipped millions of cans of formula from Cootehill and said they will more than double the amount supplied from the facility this year.

"Our Cootehill team sources ingredients from approximately 1,000 dairy farms in the local area. Following stringent quality and safety processes, each batch of infant formula undergoes extensive quality checks before it reaches stores," Abbott said.

The gravity of the situation has meant US President Joe Biden has held crisis talks with the CEOs of major retailers and manufacturers including Abbott.

The crisis has its roots in a recall of Abbott products made at a Michigan plant after complaints about bacterial infections in infants who had consumed the products.

In a statement, Abbott said there was no evidence to link their formulas to the illnesses. "Abbott conducts microbiological testing on products prior to distribution and no Abbott formula distributed to consumers tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella," the company said.

Approximately 98% of the infant formula consumed in the US is produced there however they are turning to countries like Ireland, Mexico, Chile and The Netherlands to address the crisis.

Many US parents rely on baby formula. Fewer than half of babies born in the United States were exclusively breast-fed through their first three months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card.

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