Polis declares state emergency over baby formula shortage

By: - May 27, 2022 12:46 pm

Baby formula is offered for sale at a big box store on Jan. 13, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. Baby formula has been is short supply in many stores around the country for several months. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on Wednesday that declared a disaster emergency in the state due to the nationwide baby formula shortage.

It makes funds immediately available to support the free distribution of donor breast milk to parents in need across the state.

As of May 10, there was a 40% baby formula shortage, according to data from the firm Datasembly.


“While the federal government is working to address the nationwide infant formula shortage, the State must also act to protect the health and safety of children in Colorado,” the executive order reads.

Polis has already encouraged breast milk and financial donations to the Arvada-based Mothers’ Milk Bank. The U.S. House of Representatives also passed two bills to address the shortage, one of which has also been approved by the Senate.

“Infant formula is a crucial source, and in some cases the only source, of nutrition and sustenance for countless infants. The nationwide infant formula shortage is a disaster that threatens the lives of children throughout our state. It is incomprehensible that babies’ health is threatened by the formula shortage, and the State must ensure that donor human milk, which can be used in place of formula in many instances, is as accessible as possible for all families in need,” the executive order reads.

It also notes that price gouging is illegal during a declared disaster. Polis’ order urges the attorney general to pursue any potential violations.

The order will expire in 30 days unless extended.


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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.