Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency on Sunday amid a nationwide baby formula shortage, allowing the city to crack down on price gouging of the essential product used by families.
Adams made the announcement on Sunday, and his office said that the order will give the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection power to prevent price gouging for baby formula under New York City rules.
The New York City mayor said that the shortage has caused "unimaginable pain and anxiety" for families in the city.
"The nationwide infant formula shortage has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York — and we must act with urgency," Adams said. "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."
People in New York City who are being overcharged for baby formula can file a complaint at nyc.gov/dcwp, according to a press release.
The nationwide baby formula shortage has escalated recently due to a voluntary recall by Abbott Nutrition of specific powdered formulas that were made at its Sturgis, Michigan, facility after four complaints that four babies who consumed products made from the plant got sick with a bacterial infection, and two of them died.
Abbott Nutrition said in a statement on May 11 that it could be months before stock from its Sturgis, Michigan plant will reach store shelves after a voluntary recall forced the company to cease operations at the facility. The plant originally closed in February. Abbott has said none of the infant deaths have been linked to any product made at the Sturgis plant.
Adams made the announcement following several attempts by President Biden to ease the ongoing shortage, including invoking the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of baby formula, and also announcing a military operation to transport the product from overseas to the United States.
Fox News' Julia Musto and Breck Dumas contributed to this report.