Last year, baby formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories went viral for its shutdown that caused catastrophic nationwide impacts for months on end. Abbott shut down on the earlier side of 2022 after its Michigan factory was linked to infants consuming noxious products that caused infection, then death.
A subsequent investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated dirty factory conditions and bacteria strains are what ultimately caused the aforementioned infections.
Later, Abbott was able to reopen. Though it quickly shut down once again after flooding issues interfered with the factory’s operations.
As all this was happening, baby formula shortages spread across America. The situation became so dire that some infants were hospitalized, due to a lack of access to nutrients within this formula.
Eventually, the Biden administration had to have baby formula flown to the United States from other countries. Now, the Department of Justice is starting a criminal investigation into Abbott Laboratories, according to The Hill.
What to Know About the Justice Department’s Investigation
Currently, Abbott has been made aware of the investigation and is cooperating accordingly, per a company spokesperson.
The FDA’s discovery of bacteria and poor factory cleanliness will likely play a role in the probe underway by the Justice Department.
So far, Abbott alleges that bacteria and its baby formula weren’t directly responsible for the deaths of infants; however, many people aren’t convinced.
Get ready for another major baby formula shortage.. Maybe even worse than the 1st one.
— KC Tha Gr8 (@KC4Gr8NESS) January 21, 2023
Another factor that could work against Abbott amid the Department of Justice’s investigation is a whistleblower report.
About one year before the shutdown of Abbott, a whistleblower allegedly informed the baby formula supplier of the need to fix certain equipment and improve the safety checks on formula going out to the general public.
If the Justice Department’s criminal investigation finds that Abbott intentionally ignored these reported whistleblower warnings, then it could be facing all sprts of penalities.
As Abbott Laboratories deals with the Justice Department, it also has the general public to contend with. Many people who suffered because their infant children couldn’t get the crucial formula they need are not pleased with Abbott.
Some have even accused the company of putting profit above the necessary measures to ensure that everything was going through the proper processes.
Abbott was hoping they'd quietly get away with it. But the Justice Department has now opened an investigation into their infant formula scandal.https://t.co/irBjgGLp9L
— Global Breastfeeding (@_breastfeeding) January 21, 2023
In 2022, many people also stated the massive baby formula shortage prompted by Abbott’s problems stressed the need for more suppliers of the product.
As this year plays out, Americans can expect to learn more details about the Department of Justice’s investigation and what it means for Abbott Laboratories moving forward.
Are you surprised to learn the Justice Department is now investigating Abbott Laboratories over the massive baby formula shortage caused last year? In the comments area below, please let us know what you think will come from this investigation.