The Justice Department is investigating conduct at the Abbott Laboratories infant-formula plant in Sturgis, Mich., that they say led to its shutdown last year, Wall Street Journal reports.
An investigation like this takes the eyes off the federal government’s failures in the infant formula shortage that is still ongoing. Abbott is only one lab. The shortage went well beyond Abbott. Supply chain issues and government incompetence caused it.
Attorneys with the Justice Department’s consumer-protection branch are conducting a criminal investigation.
The branch, which has criminal and civil authority, was involved last year in a settlement with Abbott that allowed its Sturgis plant to resume operations after Food and Drug Administration inspectors found a potentially deadly bacteria there, but it was not linked to the sick babies and their formula.
“The DOJ has informed us of its investigation, and we’re cooperating fully,” an Abbott spokesman said.
THEY COULDN’T PROVE ANYTHING, SO THEY’LL PROBE ABBOTT AGAIN
Last January, FDA inspectors found bacteria at the plant after receiving reports of babies who drank the company’s formula and became sick.
The inspectors also found standing water, damage to drying equipment, and defects in the seams of formula cans, among other problems at the Sturgis plant. [Routine stuff]
However, federal officials couldn’t conclusively link the bacteria at the plant to the infants’ illnesses.
Abbott has said genetic sequencing of the bacteria in the sick babies didn’t match the strains found at the plant.
Biden needs a fall guy for the baby formula shortage.