(Trends Wide) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency over baby formula shortages across the country.
Adams signed the emergency decree that will empower the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to prevent the rise in formula milk prices, his office announced Sunday.
“The nationwide infant formula shortage has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for New York families, and we must act urgently,” Adams said in the statement.
“This emergency order will help us crack down on any retailer trying to profit from this crisis by raising prices on this essential commodity. Our message to struggling mothers and families is simple: our city will do everything in its power to help them during this difficult period.
More than 40% of tri-state retailers have run out of baby formula, the mayor said.
Trends Wide on Sunday searched for formula milk at department stores in three New York City boroughs, with mixed results. Two large supermarkets in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, had no baby formula on their shelves. A worker at one of those retailers told Trends Wide that some formulas are kept “in the back room.”
In Long Island City, Queens, a CVS was clean except for six cans of Similac Alimentum, priced at $14.49 each. A smaller grocery store across the street in Long Island City, with a well-stocked baby food section, only had four cans of Similac For Spit-Up priced at $25.99 each.
At a Midtown Manhattan Target store, the shelves were nearly empty except for three $14.69 cans of Similac Alimentum and three larger boxes of Enfamil Neuropro Sensitive.
There were also a few varieties of infant formula. A sign warned customers that “due to industry-wide formula shortages, some items and sizes of formula are not currently being produced,” and directed shoppers to the company’s website.
“The shortage of infant formula across the country is hurting parents and families in our city at a time when we are all recovering from the crisis of the last two years,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Services Humans of New York, Anne Williams-Isom, in the statement.
New Yorkers who are overcharged for baby formula can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
Trends Wide’s Sarah Jorgensen and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.