Former associate FDA commissioner: Shame on Abbott for baby formula shortage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Empty shelves are creating worry for parents across the nation.

According to one health expert, it was critical to pause manufacturing of the baby formula products.

News 8 spoke with Peter Pitts, former associate commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who explains why the FDA shut down a baby formula manufacturing plant. 

“The horrible news is that the FDA went to the plant and found four babies got ill from bacterial infections and two infants died,” he said. “So, it was a tragedy, and even though none of that bacteria was found in the Abbott product, when the FDA got to the plant they found all sorts of other very serious problems. So, the FDA stumbled upon problems and quickly did the right thing.”

By this, Pitt means manufacturing protocols were not in compliance with FDA standards. The company also destroyed products the FDA wanted to investigate.

Pitts says “shame on Abbott” because of its gross negligence and lack of transparency with the FDA. 

However, he says, the FDA is also to blame. The agency should have recognized there would be shortages and informed the American public so parents could be prepared.