New York City has declared a state of emergency due to the shortage of infant formula supply in the US.
Mayor Eric Adams signed an emergency executive order empowering the city's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to prevent price gouging for infant formula, reports Xinhua news agency.
The emergency executive order will help authorities to crack down on any retailer looking to capitalize on this formula supply crisis by jacking up prices on this essential good, said Adams.
New York residents who are overcharged for formula can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, according to a statement from the city authorities.
"The nationwide infant formula shortage has caused unimaginable pain and anxiety for families across New York, and we must act with urgency," added Adams.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection recently issued an alert reminding parents to be aware of online scams and unscrupulous vendors who may try to take advantage of the situation.
New York Attorney General Letitia James also urged New Yorkers to be on alert for potential price gouging of baby formula and to report any dramatic price increases to her office.
It is estimated that over 40 per cent of large retailers are out of stock of infant formula in the US, including 43 per cent of retailers in the Tri-state area, where New York City is located, news reports said.
Although the federal government invoked the war-time Defense Production Act to secure domestic supply, it likely would take a few more weeks for domestic supplier Abbott Nutrition to resume production of baby formula in its Michigan facility, the reports said.
A military plane shipped the first batch of infant formula from Europe to the US on Sunday, as part of the government's effort to ease the nationwide shortage.