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Milk Prices Could Double Without ‘Dairy Cliff’ Solution

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Michael Rosenfield Michael Rosenfield
Michael Rosenfield is the New Hampshire Bureau Chief for CBS Boston’s...
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BOSTON (CBS) – At the Golden Goose Market in Boston’s North End on Christmas, Sara Ris was buying milk for a sweet potato pie.

And like many families, hers needs milk on a daily basis.

“Coffee, cereal, just a glass of milk, chocolate milk,” says Ris.

But news that milk prices could soon skyrocket means she is already thinking about buying less.

“We go through a gallon of milk in like four days,” says Ris. “I’d try to get everybody to cut back.”

While Washington is dealing with the fiscal cliff, there is also something called the dairy cliff. If Congress does not renew the Farm Bill by the end of the year, the milk price formula reverts back to 1949 and a statute that says the government must buy milk at twice today’s price.

And that means a gallon of milk, which right now averages about $3.60 a gallon could double.

“That would be crazy,” said Karen Baker of Medford.

Robert LoScuito, president of the Golden Goose, says he is not sure how the price hikes would impact business but he is bracing for sales to take a dip.

“I’m sure we’ll lose the volume,” said LoScuito.

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