New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Emergency Executive Order 98 (EEO 98), declaring a state of emergency related to the shortage of supply in infant formula.
The order will empower the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP); to prevent price gouging for formulas under section 5-42 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.
The effort comes as the United States grapples with a nationwide shortage of infant formula.
Stemming from a voluntary recall and temporary closure of a facility by Abbott Nutrition; one of the largest formula providers in the country.
“The nationwide infant formula shortage has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York; — we must act with urgency,” said Mayor Adams.
“This emergency executive order will help us to crack down on any retailer; looking to capitalize on this crisis by jacking up prices on this essential good. Our message to struggling mothers and families is simple: Our city will do everything in its power; to assist you during this challenging period.”
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“The nationwide infant formula shortage is hurting parents and families across our city; at a time when we’re all still reeling from the crisis of past two years,” said Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services Anne Williams-Isom.
“This executive order will ensure all of our agencies can use every tool in their toolkit to get infant formula; to those who need it and make sure our youngest New Yorkers stay.”
“As the national baby formula shortage is playing out locally; we are using the tools available to us to protect consumers and working families,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer.
“The actions we are taking with this emergency declaration and executive order sends a clear message; to any unscrupulous actors that may try to take advantage of this situation: not in New York City.”
Nationwide, over 40 percent of large retailers are out of stock of formula, including 43 percent of retailers in the tristate area; according to the most recent data estimates.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Joseph Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to direct suppliers of formula ingredients to prioritize delivery to the manufacturers of formula.
New Yorkers who are overcharged for formula can file a complaint with DCWP online at nyc.gov/dcwp or by calling 311 and saying “overcharge.”