The baby formula shortage in the United States has led to an investigation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector Geneal will begin to audit actions by the FDA beginning “with a September 2021 report of contamination and ended with a massive February recall of infant formula” reports the Western Journal.
There is a documented five-month gap between the original contamination findings and the Food and Drug Administration’s action to close the Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan.
The audit will investigate whether the FDA proceeded properly once the contamination was discovered, and to “safeguard the nation’s food supply, including infant formula and ensure all ingredients are safe” reported ABC.
President Biden defended the FDA’s actions at the White House Wednesday: “Well, I don’t think anyone anticipated the impact of the shutdown of one facility in — the Abbott facility. And it was accurately shut down because it was — the formula was questioned, in terms of its purity. And so, once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was, we kicked everything into gear.”
Contradicting himself, he also stated that he became aware of the problem in April, an entire month before invoking the Defense Production Act to increase formula production. So in fact he did not kick everything into gear “once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was.”
Biden was then asked by a reporter if during a meeting with CEOs, “didn’t those CEOs just tell you that they understood it would have a very big impact?”
“They did, but I didn’t,” Biden replied.
Biden then said that “the real problem occurred when it started — when it got shuttered. So, you’re saying we — they should have anticipated it would be shuttered.”
An FDA report from September of 2021 said that the Sturgis plant “did not maintain a building used in the manufacture, processing, packing or holding of infant formula in a clean and sanitary condition.”
Shortly after, in October, a whistleblower came forward with a report which was “not ready by agency officials until February, according to Frank Yiannasm, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response.”
FDA officials blamed the pandemic and issues of processing mail for its delay. The New Yorker wrote the whistleblower’s report and allegations was “ghastly reading.”
In the report, the whistleblower claimed every so often the plant “failed to properly seal cans of formula, and, as a work-around, performed safety tests on empty cans instead.”
Additionally, poor equipment “caused product flowing through the pipes to pick up the bacteria that was trapped in the defective areas of the pipe” the report stated, adding that problems dated back as far as 2019 when formula at the plant tested positive for microorganisms that were supposed to be destroyed.
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Texas Counties Declare ‘Invasion’ as Border Crisis Escalates
Several Texas counties have declared a border “invasion” and are hoping governor Greg Abbott will follow in their path and issue a similar declaration for the state.
“We’re being invaded. The facts are there,” said Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan at a press conference in Brackettville, Texas. “This is real. We want America to know this is real. America doesn’t know what’s happening here.”
The New York Post reports that the counties were contacted by Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump Department of Homeland Security official, “who has talked them into believing they can use the ‘self-help provision of the Constitution to declare an invasion.”
“This gives the governor, decided similarly, the authority to repeal that invasion,” Cuccinelli said at the press conference Tuesday. County officials from Kinney, Goliad, Terrell and Uvalde Counties criticized the Biden Administration’s “open border policy.”
The Post writes “Cuccinelli claims now that the Kinney County Attorney, a legal authority has declared an invasion, Gov. Greg Abbott can “repeal” immigrants. He envisions a Title 42-style program, where immigrants– even those seeking asylum– are automatically deported if they cross into the Texas border.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has resisted calls by the same group, the Center for Renewing America, to declare an “invasion,” in the past, according to the Texas Tribune. The group has been known to reach out to states across the country “looking for any local government that would be4 willing to go along with it, the spokeswoman for the organization told The Post.”
While officials know declaring an invasion does not grant any legal authority, they hope it will at least bring attention to the border crisis. The Post reports of the press conference Tuesday:
The officials each shared stories of how their communities are being inundated by immigrants as humans and drugs are smuggled through their small towns on a daily basis.
The number of reported migrant encounters along the US-Mexico border once again made history in May — hitting a staggering 239,416 encounters, according to the latest available monthly Customs and Border Patrol statistics.
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