Biden Administration Approves First Operation Fly Formula Mission

May 20, 2022

On May 19, the White House announced the first shipment of critical need infant formula from Switzerland to Plainfield, Indiana. The formula is being sourced from Nestlé S.A. and will be shipped by the U.S. Department of Defense. The shipment, which will be expedited to Nestle’s pre-existing distribution centers in the United States, underscores the strength of the dynamic U.S.-Swiss relationship and the importance of our robust economic partnership.

The Operation Fly Formula shipments will transport the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas—Alfamino® Infant, Alfamino® Junior, and Gerber Good Start® Extensive HA—all of which are hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergy. These formulas have been prioritized because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply in the United States because of the Abbott Sturgis plant closure.

President Biden launched Operation Fly Formula to speed up the import of infant formula and start getting more formula to stores as soon as possible. Under Operation Fly Formula, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are authorized to use DOD-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards, so it can get to store shelves faster. In addition, President Biden has directed his Administration to take a number of other important actions to ensure there is enough safe infant formula for families, including invoking the Defense Production Act, entering into a consent agreement between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reopen Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis facility, and issuing FDA guidance to allow major formula manufacturers to safely import formula that is not currently being produced for the U.S. market.

Photo credit: Nestlé S.A.
Photo credit: Nestlé S.A.