NYC Mayor Adams declares a state of emergency to prevent baby formula prices from being slashed

Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency on Sunday in hopes of curbing price cuts amid baby food shortages.

“The statewide infant formula shortage has caused families across New York unimaginable pain and anxiety – and we must act urgently,” Adams said in a statement.

“This emergency order will help us take action against any retailer looking to capitalize on this crisis by raising the prices of this essential commodity.”

Emergency Executive Order 98 allows the Department of Consumer and Labor Protection to prevent price increases for certain household products under 5-42 of Title 6 of the New York City Rules.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted the measure on March 15, 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when stores began raising prices for hand sanitizer and masks.

A nearly empty shelf of baby food is seen at a Walgreens pharmacy in New York City on May 9, 2022
Emergency Executive Order 98 allows the Department of Consumer and Labor Protection to prevent price hikes on certain household products.
Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The rule defines an “excessive price increase” as 10% or more above the usual price of a product.

“The nationwide infant formula shortage is hurting parents and families across our city at a time when we are all still reeling from the crisis [the] last two years,” Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom said in the news release, which was sent out Sunday afternoon.

“This executive order will ensure that all of our agencies can use every tool in their toolkit to get infant formula to those who need it and ensure our youngest New Yorkers stay.”

Shelves in stores across the country have remained empty — a crisis caused by a February recall by supplier Abbott Nutrition of branded formulas made in Michigan and a subsequent closure of its manufacturing facility.

Brany Valentina rides in a stroller while her mother picks up free groceries and baby food amid the ongoing nationwide infant and toddler formula shortage at a pantry operated by La Colaborativa in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the United States, May 18, 2022.
The Food and Drug Administration last week allowed Abbott to reopen its Sturgis, Michigan factory.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Baby formula shortage, empty shelves at Walgreens due to product recall and supply chain issues, Queens, New York.
Shelves in stores across the country have remained empty – a crisis caused by a recall by supplier Abbott Nutrition in February.
Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to Datasembly, a company that tracks retail prices and sales, in the first week of May, 43% of the most popular infant formulas were out of stock, 43% of baby formulas were out of stock at retail.

On Wednesday, President Biden agreed to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure US baby formula makers can get the materials they need and launched a new US government airlift using formulas from abroad. The first international shipment of baby food arrived in Indiana on Sunday.

The Food and Drug Administration allowed Abbott to reopen its Sturgis, Michigan factory last week, but the shortage of supplies isn’t expected to be fixed immediately.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/22/nyc-mayor-adams-issues-state-of-emergency-to-prevent-baby-formula-price-gouging/ NYC Mayor Adams declares a state of emergency to prevent baby formula prices from being slashed

JACLYN DIAZ

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