Are stores overcharging for milk?

On the Money
June 5, 2008 5:49:49 PM PDT
Food prices are up, including the cost of milk. But some New York City Council members say stores may be breaking the law when it comes to the price of milk.Seven On Your Side has reported on the problem before. Now, Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid has more on what you should watch out for.

City leaders say they're putting their foot down. Milk price gouging will no longer be tolerated. Queens City Councilman Eric Gioia says families should not be forced to make tough decisions.

"Families are making choices they should not have to make, like watering down their children's milk and going to cheaper and less healthier alternative like sugary juices and even soda," Gioia said. "These are things that cannot happen in New York City."

On Thursday, City Council members released a study on what they call a milk price gouging crisis.

The November 2007 study found 86 percent of the 50 stores checked in all five boroughs sold milk above the state allowed maximum price.

On average, the store sold milk 40 cents above what the state allows, which, for this month, is $3.93 for a gallon, $2.01 for a half gallon and $1.04 for a quart.

Shoppers say they're not surprised, because they've noticed it too.

"Milk prices are crazy," shopper Linward Cooper said. "People talk about gas, but we need to look at milk and bread."

"They're taking advantage of the poor," shopper Derma Kancso said. "The ones that are not able to afford the price of milk...that's sad."

Speaker Christine Quinn said that today alone she found the Gristedes at 26th and 8th in Chelsea and another store at 119th and 1st in East Harlem selling milk for more than the state allows.

"These stores have come to expect very lack luster enforcement," Quinn said. "And that has created an atmosphere where bad players are doing bad things and taking advantage of New Yorkers. The best resource we have in New York is New York[ers]."

Quinn says that watchdogs, along with stepped up enforcement, will keep stores in check.

To find out the milk price thresholds in New York, click here

For other stories in our On the Money series, click here.


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