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Citrus Growers Soften Stance on Imports

September 08, 2000|Bloomberg News

California citrus growers are toning down their demand that the Clinton administration block citrus imports from Argentina, after coming under pressure from other U.S. farm groups determined to protect their own exports. Joel Nelson, president of the California Citrus Mutual, a growers' association, said his group will ask lawmakers only to fund a study of their concerns about diseases carried by Argentine citrus, without seeking immediate administration action based on the study's results. The Argentine imports would mark the first time the U.S. has knowingly accepted fruit from infected areas, and the imports are being approved under pressure from other U.S. farm groups who hope to sell in Argentina, he said. The citrus growers are now willing to accept a watered-down version of a measure being considered by Congress.

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