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Newsom takes aim at baby formula price gouging

Gavin Newsom

As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to support families amid the national shortage of infant formula, Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed an executive order establishing consumer protections against price gouging on baby formula to help improve access for parents and caretakers.

In response to the ongoing supply chain challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of a manufacturing facility earlier this year that further impacted supply, the order generally prohibits sellers from selling infant formula for a price that is more than 10 percent greater than the price they charged on Feb. 17. The order also provides for additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, district attorneys and other local law enforcement to take action against price gougers.

“California continues to take urgent action to support families feeling the impacts of the nationwide formula shortage. We’re connecting families in need with helpful resources and working to improve access for all parents and caregivers to keep California families safe and healthy,” Newsom said.

The California Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program has expanded the list of formula brands eligible for purchase with WIC benefits, enabling the state’s WIC participants to choose from more than 130 different formula brands. WIC serves pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children with a gross income of no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

Resources and tips for families, and additional information on the infant formula shortage, can be found on the CDPH Infant Formula web page.