How A French Food Company Wants To Help With The Baby Formula Crisis

The United States is in the midst of a serious baby formula shortage, which has rightfully sent many parents of infants into a tizzy. Now, many are scrambling to find (and possibly stockpile) formula so they don't wind up without something to feed their child.

To the public, the formula crisis really ramped up when a Michigan plant for Abbott Nutrition was shuttered due to suspected contamination. Per NPR, this particular facility supplied up to 1/5 of the nation's stock of the all-important infant food. According to Business Insider, two babies died and others were sickened as a result of the contamination, which led to the recall heard 'round the country.

Clearly, the facility has major issues to fix (it was called "egregiously unsanitary" in a Yahoo! article), but the rest of the country's industry has been unable to fill the gap left by the shuttering. At least one writer at the New York Post blames the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for setting the baby formula industry up for disaster by "setting up high barriers for new plants to open." Fortunately, the U.S. has managed to make some allies over the years, and at least one foreign company is stepping up to help out some of the most vulnerable American infants in need.

French company Danone is shipping millions of bottles' worth of formula to the U.S.

Although most babies can make do with cow's milk-based formula, many are allergic to dairy, and thus unable to use such products. The French company Danone is shipping enough formula to make 5 million bottles for this vulnerable population, per Yahoo! This amino acid-based formula will also be appropriate for many babies who deal with other medical conditions that preclude them from dairy-based formula. Ideally, this gesture will help these children endure until U.S. formula production is ramped back up to normal levels.

Normally, purchasing imported baby formula from Europe is actually against the law, says What to Expect. This is because these online formula orders contain products that the FDA hasn't reviewed, and therefore might not meet U.S. packaging and nutrition requirements. Ironically, potential contamination is another big concern. However, beggars can't be choosers, and Danone's support is likely to relieve a lot of stress from worried parents stateside. Merci beaucoup, Danone!