The baby formula crisis that has left parents across the U.S. scrambling to find food for their newborns was a long time coming. And despite efforts to restock retailer shelves, severe shortages – which are disproportionately hurting low-income families – are unlikely to end anytime soon.

Closure of a key Abbott factory in Michigan in February set off the desperate hunts for formula after four babies were hospitalized and two died. Although the FDA may soon allow it to reopen, it will take at least two months before formula from the factory reaches consumers.

Kevin Ketels, a supply chain scholar at Wayne State University, explains why the baby formula industry was so vulnerable to a crisis like this and what could be done to prevent it from happening again.

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Bryan Keogh

Senior Editor, Economy + Business

Cities are trying to address the baby formula shortage with community drives. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Baby formula industry was primed for disaster long before key factory closed down

Kevin Ketels, Wayne State University

The closure of a factory in Michigan is the incident that put new parents across the US on edge, but the real causes for the shortage of baby formula are many years in the making.

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