NYC Mayor Eric Adams declares state of emergency over baby formula shortage

Adams said the shortage “has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York — and we must act with urgency.”

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The baby formula shortage that has grappled the nation prompted New York City Mayor Eric Adams to declare a state of emergency there.

As reported by The Huffington Post, Adams said the shortage “has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York — and we must act with urgency.” On Sunday, Adams signed an emergency executive order that “will empower the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to prevent price gouging on formula.”

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams (above) said the shortage of baby formula “has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York — and we must act with urgency.” (Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Adams declared in a press release: “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.”

Other city officials acknowledged that area residents were reeling from the shortage. “The nationwide infant formula shortage,” noted Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, “is hurting parents and families across our city at a time when we’re all still reeling from the crisis of the past two years.”

“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,” added Williams-Isom.

New Yorkers who have been overcharged for formula can file a complaint online or by calling 311. 

“As the national baby formula shortage is playing out locally, we are using the tools available to us to protect consumers and working families,” Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer said in the statement. “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.”

TheGrio reported previously that part of the shortage issue began last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to disruptions in labor, transportation and raw materials — economy-wide issues that didn’t spare the baby formula industry. Then, in February, Abbott Nutrition recalled several major brands of powdered formula and shut down its Sturgis, Michigan, factory when federal officials began investigating the incidents of four babies who suffered bacterial infections after consuming formula from the facility. One of the infants died.

Abbott produces the vast majority of the U.S. baby formula supply, so their recall wiped out a large segment of the market. According to USA Today, at the end of April, nearly 40% of baby formulas at major retailers were sold out.  

President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act in response to the crisis and ordered suppliers of formula ingredients to make their delivery to manufacturers a priority. Last week, he launched Operation Fly Formula, which allows U.S. military resources to acquire baby formula from overseas.

The first shipment reportedly arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday. According to The Associated Press, the formula, weighing 78,000 pounds, is said to be enough for more than half a million baby bottles.

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