The Macomb Daily

WIC to switch back to Similac brand formulas on March 1

Michigan program to resume normal logistics

- By Gina Joseph

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States