Spitzer Announces Application Process For $19 Million Fund Resulting From Vitamin Price-fixing Case

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that his office will begin accepting applications from groups across the state seeking grants from New York's $19 million share of a national settlement involving a ten year price-fixing conspiracy among vitamin manufacturers.

New York was the lead state in the case, which last October resulted in the world's six major vitamin manufacturers agreeing to pay $255 million as part of an antitrust settlement. Earlier this month, a New York State Supreme Court Judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement, enabling the grant process to begin.

Applications will be accepted for projects with the express purpose of ensuring that the settlement funds are used for improving the health and/or nutrition of New Yorkers, and/or the advancement of nutritional, dietary, or agricultural science.

"For a decade, six vitamin companies conspired to fix prices, and in doing so, imposed a hidden 'vitamin tax' on shoppers buying everything from baby food to milk and cereal, to meat, chicken, and fish," said Spitzer.

"Because it would be virtually impossible to determine how much money individual consumers would be entitled to, the settlement funds will be distributed to not-for-profit corporations, charitable organizations, or government entities benefitting New Yorkers."

The application process is competitive and the settlement monies will be used solely to fund new projects and will not be available to supplant existing funding.

While the Attorney General's office will be coordinating the application process and making recommendations to the court for distribution of the settlement funds, the court will have final approval of the settlement and the grants.

Information concerning the grants, the application process, and application forms are available at the Attorney General's website: www.ag.ny.gov or by calling 866-792-1387. The deadline for submission of applications is September 7, 2001.


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