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Danone doubles supply of some baby formula to U.S. amid shortage

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) - Danone SA DANO.PA has been doubling shipments to the United States of Neocate formula for infants allergic to cow's milk, a top executive told Reuters on Wednesday, hoping to help stem a nationwide shortage of formula. Top manufacturer Abbott Laboratories ABT.N in February recalled dozens of types of its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas, creating one of the most urgent food shortages in recent history for U.S. families. “We have increased our supply for Neocate everywhere...the Abbott recall affected 38 markets – it’s not only the U.S.," said Magdalena Broseta, Danone's Vice President General Counsel of Specialized Nutrition. "Our factory in Europe is serving multiple markets...of course, the numbers and the volumes and the U.S. are bigger just because of the size of the market.” The French company declined to say how many cans or tonnes of product it is exporting. Danone is the world's second-biggest baby formula maker after Nestle NESN.S but a relatively small player in the United States, with less than 5% of market share. When asked if Danone would bring its flagship Aptamil formula into the country, Broseta said the company had been discussing a number of options with U.S. authorities, adding that it was easier to increase imports of products that were already available in the country than introduce new ones. (Reporting by Richa Naidu Editing by David Goodman, Kirsten Donovan) ((richa.naidu@tr.com; Follow me on Twitter +44 755 755 9587;)) The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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