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USDA Grants Additional WIC Flexibilities Amid Abbott Recall of Certain Powder Infant Formula

Press Release
Release No.
USDA No. 0050.22
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has granted additional flexibilities in response to the impact of the 2022 Abbott recall of certain powder infant formula provided through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

In response to the recall, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is strongly encouraging WIC agencies in affected states, territories and tribal nations to take immediate action to ensure that WIC participants can exchange their recalled baby formula and can use WIC benefits to purchase product that has not been recalled. FNS has offered WIC agencies the opportunity to request waivers of certain WIC regulations to offer maximum flexibility to address this issue.

The following waivers have been offered to WIC agencies:

FNS is working closely with WIC agencies as they review and implement these flexibilities, in coordination with their vendors and local offices. FNS is issuing these waivers under the authority provided by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

“We are committed to providing WIC participants with access to a variety of safe and healthy foods, including infant formula,” said FNS Administrator Cindy Long. “We applaud the WIC community’s quick response to ensure they have the flexibilities needed to quickly respond to the COVID-19 related nationwide supply chain issues that have been exacerbated by this recall.”

FNS has issued reminders about options for returns and exchanges of recalled product and has posted several resources on infant formula safety.

Additional Information from our Federal Partners

Additional information from Abbott

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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02/23/2022