As baby formula supplies dwindle, NC officials warn of price gouging
NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Families across the U.S. are struggling to find infant formula as shelves remain bare.
Our state’s top prosecutor is warning North Carolina families of another potential issue.
“This is a basic human need,” Carli Davis said. “Babies need to eat.”
Options for baby formula are slim at pharmacies and grocery stores across Charlotte.
“It’s terrifying, terrifying,” Davis said.
To prevent stripping shelves clean, some stores have placed restrictions on the number of customers can take home at once.
“If you think about how hard families are struggling to feed one baby, just think feeding two or three or four babies because the limitations on buying formula at the store are the same, they don’t care how many babies you have, you get one can,” Davis said.
Davis is a mother of eight-month-old twins. She typically buys her formula from overseas, but even that has become more difficult in recent months.
“There are parents out there who are just starting their two or three months on solids, and that’s just terrible for their gut health,” Davis said.
The low inventory stems from ongoing supply chain issues and FDA recalls of major brands. While the shortage is expected to drive prices up, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is warning consumers of price gouging.
“I just want to send a strong signal to sellers in North Carolina: do not exploit this moment, do not try to make a quick buck on the back of desperate parents, because it is a law in North Carolina, and we will enforce it,” Stein said.
Some mothers are choosing to avoid stores altogether and creating baby formula in their own kitchens.
“I spend like an afternoon on a Sunday every other weekend making it and then I freeze for the week. It’s a lot of work on the day that you are making it, after that it’s kind of the same as using formula from a can, where you just scoop it in,” Davis said.
As of Friday afternoon, Stein said his office has not yet received a complaint regarding a business price gouging baby formula.
For information on how to file a complaint visit: at https://ncdoj.gov/gouging or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
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