New Zealand’s a2 Milk seeks to supply US infant formula after Bubs approval

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A2 milk is seen on a supermarket shelf in Singapore April 16, 2018. Photo taken on April 16, 2018.REUTERS/Thomas White/File photo

(Reuters) – New Zealand’s a2 Milk said on Monday it had submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to supply infant formula after Australian peer Bubs received clearance from the health agency last week.

Antipodean earlier this month was seeking to profit from the FDA’s relaxation of rules on baby formula imports to ease one of the largest baby food shortages in recent U.S. history.

When did the crisis trigger Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ), the largest U.S. supplier of infant formula, including Similac, recalled dozens of products in February after reporting serious bacterial infections in four infants.

“We are able to provide support … leveraging our existing U.S. operations and distribution capabilities,” David Botoluci, managing director and chief executive of a2, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

Bubs Australia plans to ship at least 1.25 million cans of infant formula to the United States, the FDA said on Friday.

Shares in a2 Milk surged 13 per cent for their best performance since February, while Bubs Australia rose 42.1 per cent to $0.0.69 in afternoon trade.

Abbott is on track to reopen its main Michigan infant formula plant within a week or two, the FDA said on May 19.

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