A state of emergency has been declared in New York City amid an ongoing nationwide shortage of child resources, potentially allowing officials to fight profiteers on rare products.
The move, announced by Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday, empowers the city’s Consumer and Employee Protection Department to crack down on retailers and curb price rises.
“This urgent executive order will help us crack down on any retailer seeking to capitalize on this crisis by raising the price of this essential item.” Adams says. “Our message to struggling mothers and families is simple: our city will do everything in its power to help you in this challenging time.”
A press release from city officials further states that parents in New York City who feel they are being overcharged for their child formula can now file a complaint on the NYC official government website.
The withdrawal of supply chain problems caused by the Covid-19 epidemic by Abbott Laboratories, one of the leading formula makers in the country, has exacerbated existing supply chain problems, leading to a nationwide shortage of infant formula in the United States since February. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was forced to shut down their largest production facility in the country after allegedly finding evidence of bacterial contamination at the plant, which left four children sick, two of whom died.
Abbott denied the allegations, insisting that no bacterial contamination was found in its final products. The manufacturer is working with the FDA to reopen its production facility as soon as possible, but noted that it may still take several months to get from the plant to the stock store shelves.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is seeking to reduce the ongoing deficit through the Defense Production Act, which gives the U.S. president the power and authority to force manufacturers to prioritize contracts deemed necessary for national defense, regardless of the amount of business losses. Administration to determine prohibited materials from stockpiling and price increases.
The Pentagon has announced a military operation to transport goods from abroad to the United States until they meet safety and nutrition guidelines set by the FDA, which has promised to streamline the review process to allow infant formulas to reach store shelves faster.
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