(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and authorize flights to import supply from overseas, but a former assistant commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration says the initiative is futile.
“It’s an empty gesture and I think it’s an insult to parents who are struggling these days,” Peter Pitts said Thursday as a guest of “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”
The Defense Production Act allows the president to allocate materials, services and facilities in the interest of national defense. Under the act, the president has the authority to offer incentives to private companies to increase production and prioritize shipment and orders from the federal government.
According to the New York Times, these incentives can include issuing loans, controlling the distribution of a company’s products, and most commonly: making companies prioritize the government’s orders over other clients.
In the case for baby formula, it means companies that sell to manufacturers must fulfill their orders. Biden is also using the granted powers to send planes to Europe to expedite the shipping process.