The Macomb Daily
WIC to switch back to Similac brand formulas on March 1
Michigan program to resume normal logistics
Similac is back on the shelves. Michigan’s Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program is resuming its contract for Similac brand formulas starting March 1, as supply chain issues have been resolved, according to a Thursday news release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service is ending its flexibility of providing non-contract formula effective Feb. 28. States had been allowed to provide clients access to infant formula brands outside of state contracts as the nation faced infant formula shortages due to a recall.
“It is USDA’s expectation that these extensions of flexibilities for non-contract formulas will be the final extensions, barring a significant change in the status of formula supply and availability,” Christina Herring, WIC director, said in the release. “We will continue to monitor availability of infant formula, along with our federal partners, to ensure WIC participants have access to nutrition for their babies.”
This expectation is based on Abbott Laboratories’ recent production levels of its Similac infant formula at the plant in Sturgis, Mich., and its ability to supply sufficient stock of the product for the WIC market.
Abbott Laboratories was shut down for months last February following reports of contamination.
The factory’s closure, which is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, contributed to a nationwide baby formula shortage that forced parents to seek formula from food banks, friends and doctor’s offices. Production was restarted in June, and Abbott spokesperson Scott Stoffel said the company is cooperating fully with the investigation, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The USDA will continue to work with Abbott, the Food and Drug Administration and other stakeholders to monitor Similac product availability for WIC participants. If significant changes in Similac production or availability occur, USDA will engage Abbott and share any updates to this timeline with WIC state agencies.
Starting March 1, Michigan WIC will return to the following
Similac WIC contract formulas:
• Similac Advance
• Similac Total Comfort
• Similac Sensitive
• Similac Isomil Soy Parents and vendors will be receiving notification of this change beginning today.
WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and referrals to other community programs to improve and support clients’ health and well-being.