Mayor Adams declares a state of emergency in New York due to a nationwide shortage of infant formula

May 22, 2022

EEO 98 allows Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to crack down on price gouging for formulas

The multi-agency effort will focus on ensuring a steady supply of formula for New York City families, especially those who need it most.

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Emergency Executive Order 98 (EEO 98), declaring a state of emergency related to the shortage of infant formula supplies. The order will empower the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to prevent price gouging for the formula under New York City Rules Title 6, Section 5-42. York. The effort comes as the United States grapples with a nationwide infant formula shortage, resulting from a voluntary recall and temporary facility closure by Abbott Nutrition, one of the world’s largest infant formula suppliers. infants of the country.

“The nationwide shortage of infant formula has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for New York families – and we need to act urgently,” said Mayor Adams. “This Emergency Executive Order will help us crack down on any retailer seeking to take advantage of this crisis by raising prices for this essential good. Our message to mothers and families in difficulty is simple: our city will do everything in its power to help you during this difficult time. »

“The national infant formula shortage is hurting parents and families in our city at a time when we are all still reeling from the crisis of the past two years,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Social Services Anne Williams-Isom. “This executive order will ensure that all of our agencies can use every tool in their toolbox to get infant formula to those in need and ensure that our youngest New Yorkers stay.”

“As the national infant formula shortage manifests locally, we are using the tools at our disposal to protect consumers and working families,” said Deputy Mayor for Labor and Economic Development Maria Torres-Springer. “The actions we are taking with this declaration of emergency and this executive order send a clear message to any unscrupulous actors who may try to take advantage of this situation: not in New York.”

Nationally, more than 40% of major retailers are out of formula stock, including 43% of retailers in the tri-state area, according to the most recent data estimates. Earlier this week, US President Joseph Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to order formula ingredient suppliers to prioritize delivery to formula makers. President Biden also announced the creation of Operation Fly Formula, which directs the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture to import infant formula from overseas, provided that it meets US health and safety standards.

New Yorkers who are overcharged for formula can file a complaint with DCWP online at nyc.gov/dcwp or by calling 311 and saying overload.”

“As New York’s consumer protection agency, we are committed to ensuring that retailers do not take advantage of this nationwide formula shortage for their own financial gain,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Under this new executive order, DCWP will oppose any instance of price increases, and we encourage any New Yorkers who see a significant increase in infant formula prices to report it to 311.”

“At its core, the national infant formula shortage is a public health issue, triggered by failures in our economic and regulatory systems,” said Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan. “Parents and caregivers in New York City who depend on formula to feed their babies deserve stable access for the healthy development and nutrition of their children. We are committed to working in partnership with our sister agencies to ensure a steady supply of formula for all New Yorkers. »

“We know that shortages of essential goods often affect our city’s most vulnerable, especially New Yorkers and their families who depend on city services,” said Gary Jenkins, DSS Commissioner. “DSS will work collaboratively with city, state and federal partners to meet infant formula needs and fill supply gaps, especially for those who need it the most. need.”

“The primary mandate of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy is to promote policies and initiatives that improve food security and increase access to healthy, nutritious food, and nothing can be more urgent than providing the necessary sustenance to our youngest and most vulnerable,” said MOFP Executive Director, Kate MacKenzie. ‘As the shortage plays out nationally, we know the pain is sorely felt locally – and we will do everything in our power to bring meaningful relief to struggling New York families. to find affordable prices, accessible formula.

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