New Yorkers getting milked on milk
by Grace Carmen
Jul 07, 2009 | 2206 views | 0 0 comments | 114 114 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Eric Gioia, chairman of the Council Committee on Oversight and Investigations, released a survey last Sunday that found huge disparities in the cost of milk both within neighborhoods and between the five boroughs. Gioia surveyed 60 supermarkets, bodegas, convenience stores, and drug stores in all five boroughs.

These cost differences are significant enough that over the course of a year a family with two kids could lose $500, or one week's pay, just to afford milk. The most expensive gallon of milk found by Gioia's investigation was $6, which is 165 percent more than the cheapest gallon at $2.25.

"Milk is not a luxury, it is a necessity," said Gioia. "Milk is essential to any healthy diet- especially for children, and it should be affordable for everyone. Right now we have a system that hurts farmers, small business, and ultimately parents and children by allowing the middle men to keep prices high."

The New York State Department of Agriculture (NYSDA) dropped price threshold statistics from its website this year, leaving consumers and storeowners with no information to identify price gouging. Gioia is advocating having these prices reposted, as well as increased enforcement against costly milk. He will also explore legislation requiring stores to post their phone number and website so New Yorkers can easily report gouging wherever milk is sold.

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