Abbott Laboratories is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The company confirmed Friday. On year after shuttering a Michigan baby-formula plant following reports of illness.
Abbott did not specify which aspect of the company is under investigation by the Justice Department.
“The DOJ has informed us of its investigation. And we are cooperatingy,” an Abbott spokesman said in a statement to NBC News.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Friday. That the Justice Department is investigating conduct. At Abbott’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. NBC News has not confirmed the nature of the investigation.
The DOJ declined to comment Saturday.
Abbott halted production at its Sturgis infant formula manufacturing plant on February 17, 2022. After infants consuming formula made at the plant became ill.
The shutdown contributed to nationwide infant formula shortages.
Four babies, two of whom died, were sickened. By a rare bacteria after consuming powdered formula made at Abbott’s Michigan factory.
Federal investigators have not been able to determine the source or origin of the bacteria. Cronobacter sakazakii, which can cause fatal illnesses.
The company signed a consent decree with the federal government in May that outlined. What it would do before reopening its plant.
That “the government alleged that powdered infant formula products manufactured. At Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis facility were adulterated. Because they were manufactured under unsanitary conditions. And in violation of current good manufacturing practice requirements.”
Production at the Michigan plant, which makes three of the nation’s most popular brands. Similac, Alimentum and Elecare — resumed in June.
Abbott Labs before said it “continue[s] to improve our manufacturing. And quality processes to ensure our products remain free of Cronbacter sakazakii.” And “has already begun implementing corrective actions and enhancements at the facility.”
The company also said its own internal testing confirmed. A lack of a genetic match between the sick children and the formula. And it said it had not found the bacteria in any of the products it distributed.