"Baby formula industry successfully lobbied to weaken bacteria safety standards" - Intercept
"Records show that the industry successfully mobilized against a 2014 proposal from the FDA to increase regular safety inspections of plants used to manufacture baby formula. The largest infant formula manufacturers quickly stepped up to delay the safety proposals. The International Formula Council, now known as the Infant Nutrition Council of America, is the lobby group that represents Abbott Nutrition (owned by Abbott Laboratories), Gerber (owned by Nestlé), Perrigo Co., and Reckitt Benckiser Group, the companies that control 89 percent of the baby formula market in the U.S." - Intercept
Former employee blows whistle on baby formula production plant tied to outbreak - Food Safety News
The Infant Nutrition Council of America donates heavily and has an army of lobbyists - Open Secrets
"Abbott Nutrition’s plant that has been closed for more than three months because of contamination problems" - Penn Live
When in doubt, follow the money. Connect the dots with this relationship map.
Baby formula industry lobbies to weaken safety standards
We all pay the price of weakening safety standards
"A whistle blower document regarding product safety at a plant that manufactured infant formula linked to a deadly, ongoing outbreak provides damning information against Abbott Nutrition, the maker of Similac and other popular formulas that have been recalled in relation to the outbreak. The document, sent to top officials at the Food and Drug Administration in October 2021, sparked outrage from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro who has already demanded information from the FDA regarding the cronobacter outbreak among babies."
The FDA has found five strains of cronobacter at the Sturgis facility, but none match the outbreak strain. The discovery of the five types of cronobacter does however, suggest an ongoing problem at the facility and not just a single incident.
- The Falsification of Records
- Releasing Untested Infant Formula
- The 2019 FDA Audit
- Clean-in-Place Staffing and Practices
- Failure to Take Corrective Measures
- Lack of Traceability
Fear of retaliation
The former employee says in the document that he repeatedly raised concerns with management at the plant and was routinely brushed aside and had his questions designated as “petty.” The concerns raised in the complaint have been corroborated by other Abbott employees, but fear of retaliation has kept them from coming forward individually. In another instance, the complainant confidentially reported an incident involving a stun gun. Others were told and “retaliation soon followed.”
“Ultimately, despite an admirable employment record at Abbott and elsewhere, complainant was terminated based upon his repeated elevation of compliance concerns. That termination is being investigated by OSHA after filing a whistleblower complaint under Section 42 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA complaint),” the document says." - Food Safety News
The system is rigged. Corporations with millionaire dollar executives lobby to weaken safety standards and deny funding to Federal Regulation agencies. Republicans pander to wealthy donors by gutting regulations. Wealthy donors make more money with fewer safety regulations. Baby formula shortages. Contamination. Shutdowns. Shortages... The rich get richer while the rest of us pay for their greed.
TakeAway: Vote for politicians who will fight for public safety and not just their wealthy donors.
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