President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Protection Act in a bid to speed up formula production. But the law will not instantly increase supply.
The Defense Production Act has many moving parts, but it essentially means two things: speeding up the production of infant formula and allowing flights to import supplies from overseas.
News4 spoke to supply chain expert Rob Kelly to find out what timeline parents can likely expect.
“The act of production, unfortunately, doesn’t mean much to parents. What matters to parents is when will the formula be on the shelves again?” said Kelly. “But the reality is that production will resume, which is great news, they have the green light from the FDA. It takes about five to six weeks for the raw materials to arrive, for production to take place, and the manufacture of infant formula itself.
Kelly says, further, that the supply chain will take a few weeks to distribute the formula to stores.
“You’re talking two months until parents see formula on the shelves again,” he said.
Sourcing and obtaining the different products that are combined to make the formula is also a big part of why production is taking so long, Kelly said.
“The formula is created from a number of different products, things like, well, first of all, purified cow’s milk is the main ingredient. So that affects the dairy industry and what happens “Is he in the dairy industry? Well, you have a labor shortage that’s slowing down production, and the demand is actually up for cow’s milk,” Kelly said.
“Then you also have other products like vegetable oil, vitamins and minerals…and guess where the raw materials for our vitamins come from? China, mainly. So that brings all the chain issues sourcing from China that we’ve all heard about for the last six months or so, that also fits into that equation,” Kelly said.