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State Sen. Vin Gopal. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Gopal calls on Health Department to create baby formula tracking system

System would be similar to gas reporting utilized after Hurricane Sandy

By Joey Fox, May 20 2022 4:13 pm

State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), responding to the ongoing national shortage of baby formula, wrote a letter to Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli this morning urging the Department of Health to create a system to track the state’s formula supply and let parents know where they can buy different formula brands and types.

“The nationwide formula shortage has come to a head in our state in recent weeks, and my office is routinely hearing from desperate parents who are struggling to locate formula products that are fundamental to their child’s nutrition,” Gopal wrote. “I am fully committed to helping these families while the shortage is resolved federally, and I am looking to your department for help.”

As Gopal noted in his letter, the state implemented a similar reporting system for gas in 2012, after Hurricane Sandy caused outages at many gas stations and made refueling cars a challenge.

Gov. Phil Murphy has already declared a state of emergency in New Jersey for the shortage, prohibiting retailers from massively marking up formula. An Assembly committee also met yesterday to discuss further actions the state could take to mitigate the crisis, including establishing state-level infrastructure for human milk donations and encouraging more selective formula usage.

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