The U.S. government launched Operation Fly Formula, in which the Agriculture Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Pentagon are cooperating to find alternative sources of baby formula. (Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images)
American soldiers at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany loaded pallets of baby formula onto a military plane Saturday as part of Operation Fly Formula, a mission to alleviate the U.S. formula shortage.
The first shipment of 132 pallets, or more than 30 tons, is expected to land Sunday morning in Plainfield, Indiana, where it will be transferred to trucks and then store shelves. Another 114 pallets will arrive in the coming days.
More infant formula is on the way.
The first pallets from @POTUS’ Operation Fly Formula are being loaded onto a military plane in Germany right now.
The first plane lands in the U.S. tomorrow morning, with more coming soon. pic.twitter.com/MBbnlFTo9h
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 21, 2022
The White House has said that the formula sourced from Switzerland will include three brands: Nestle Health Science Alfamino Infant, Nestle Health Science Alfamino Junior and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA.
All are hypoallergenic for children who are allergic to cow’s milk.
Formula stocks began drying up after an Abbott plant in Michigan that was tied to two infant deaths and two infant hospitalizations was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration in February. Federal regulators determined that the plant had not been maintaining sanitary conditions, potentially facilitating the spread of a bacterial infection that affected the children.
A French formula maker, Danone SA, has also stepped up shipments to the U.S. by ocean cargo to help plug the gap in supply.
President Joe Biden has also invoked the Defense Production Act to help ramp up domestic production.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the FDA shut down a Nestlé plant in Michigan. It was an Abbott plant.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.