NewsLocal News


Prosecuting agencies warn against price gouging baby formula

baby formula
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 00:29:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — An executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom this week, prohibits sellers of baby formula from charging a price 10% greater than the price they charged back on February 17, it comes as the nationwide formula shortage continues.

“It's something we've been monitoring very closely, we do spot checks from time to time to look at prices kind of randomly across the city,”

Now both the San Diego County District Attorney and San Diego City Attorney's office are warning they will be going after price gougers. Violators could face hefty fines and even up to six months behind bars.

“They can be charged with criminal penalties, they can be charged with civil penalties, we have authority under the California Unfair Competition Law to bring an unfair competition lawsuit or enforcement action against a business that is doing that, and we can get $2,500 in civil penalties for every violation,” said Mark Ankcorn, Senior Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego.

Ankcorn said in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, they received hundreds of complaints reporting price gouging on hard-to-get items, but he said investigators learned many businesses were also dealing with higher prices.

“As our investigators went out and talked to some of the shopkeepers, some of the grocery stores, we found out they had their prices increase and they actually reduced their profit margins to make sure their customers had the necessary food, toilet paper, and personal protective equipment,” he said.

Both the DA's office and City Attorney's office say they have not yet received any complaints of suspected formula price gouging locally, but they're encouraging people to report anything suspicious.

“I'm cautiously optimistic, hopefully, this will be like it was a couple of years ago,” said Ankcorn.

To report suspected formula price going to the DA’s office, contact the Consumer Protection Unit at (619) 531-3507 or email

To report a tip or suspected price gouging to the City Attorney’s office, call 619-533-5618.