The Los Angeles City Council Friday ratified a local emergency declaration by Mayor Eric Garcetti to prevent local price gouging amid the shortage of baby formula across the U.S.
"President Biden, the Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General have all warned of illegal and predatory conduct, including price gouging, in the infant formula market,'' the resolution states. "The national shortage, while not causing the same shortages in the city of Los Angeles as in other places across the county, nevertheless poses an imminent threat to the ability of parents and caregivers to obtain infant formula in the city.''
The resolution, introduced by Council President Nury Martinez and seconded by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, ratifies the emergency declaration made by Garcetti on June 3.
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Under a local emergency declaration, it is illegal for any person or business to sell baby or toddler formula for more than 10% the price charged prior to the emergency declaration, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.
"As we see this shortage unfolding across the country, now is the time to prepare and take proactive steps to protect our families and most vulnerable residents,'' Garcetti said on June 3 in his announcement about the emergency declaration. "This declaration should not be viewed as a cause for concern -- it should instill confidence that we are thinking ahead and taking the proper steps to ensure that our city is ready to protect Angelenos.''
According to Martinez' resolution, the City Council will consider continuing the resolution every month.
In an effort to help families amid the baby formula shortage, Los Angeles County purchased $750,000 worth of baby formula.
"I know many parents and caregivers have been worried and anxious due to the shortage of baby formula,'' Los Angeles County Hilda Solis said announcing the purchase on May 28. "As the county government, it is our responsibility to be the safety net for our residents and meet the needs of those most vulnerable.''
The closure of one of the nation's largest manufacturing plants due to contamination sparked the shortage, officials said.