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BUSINESS
March 16, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL
An accident of nature and an industrious population account for Chile's meteoric rise to chief supplier of winter fruit to North America, according to importers that supply the U.S. market. A quick look at a globe explains why. Geographically, Chile and California are mirror images. And when the growing season comes to the farther reaches of the Southern Hemisphere, California's vineyards and orchards are largely dormant. In other words, when it's summer in Santiago, it's winter in California.
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NEWS
December 31, 1994 | WILLIAM R. LONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The case of the "poisoned grapes" once again has Chileans bursting with pent-up wrath: Newly revealed evidence supports Chilean arguments that a 1989 poison scare, which resulted in a costly U.S. ban on Chilean fruit, was triggered by a hoax. In March, 1989, an anonymous caller told the U.S. Embassy in Santiago that Chilean fruit shipped to the United States had been poisoned.
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BUSINESS
March 15, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Stevedores in Los Angeles temporarily refused to unload a refrigerated freighter from Chile on Tuesday as dockworkers, fruit wholesalers, grocers and growers confronted the government's new warning against tainted fruit. The dockworkers relented later in the day after government inspectors declared the cargo safe for handling. The cargo was unloaded, but it remains detained at the Port of Los Angeles.
NEWS
February 11, 1994 | WILLIAM R. LONG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California businessman Warren Simmons is betting big on cranberries. He's investing millions of dollars to plant 1,000 acres of cranberries in this nation, where the fruit has never been produced commercially. Simmons hopes to become a major cranberry producer--maybe even No. 1 in the world. He also hopes that juice from his crop can be sold in Europe or Asia--where hardly anyone now thirsts for the product. Can it be done? That depends on many things, including bugs and bumblebees.
BUSINESS
March 21, 1989 | MARTHA GROVES and ROBIN WRIGHT, Times Staff Writers
Chile's fruit isn't the first to fall prey to sabotage. In 1978, a dozen Europeans in at least three countries became ill after eating Israeli oranges, lemons and grapefruit that had been tainted with mercury. A group of Palestinian extremists took responsibility for the poisoning, saying its goal was to "sabotage the Israeli economy." Europe responded by boycotting Israeli citrus for a time, dealing a heavy blow to that nation's fragile finances.
BUSINESS
March 15, 1989 | MARLENE CIMONS, Times Staff Writer
One afternoon nearly three years ago, in the midst of a nationwide Tylenol cyanide scare, Dr. Frank E. Young, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, could hardly control his wrath over the idea that someone would tamper with products purchased by American consumers. "This kind of terrorism is just like a burglary," he told a reporter. "In this case, the burglar burglarizes our trust. I get angry that someone would do this to us as citizens."
BUSINESS
August 6, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Fruit Inspection Fee: Fifteen importers of Chilean fruit and vegetables sued Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors and the county agricultural commissioner, claiming that the companies are being charged an illegal mandatory inspection fee for some produce. The Los Angeles Superior Court case said the county last August approved an inspection fee of 3 1/2 cents per package on some imported fruits, nuts and vegetables to be sold in California.
BUSINESS
March 24, 1989 | MARLENE CIMONS, Times Staff Writer
The government of Chile and the World Bank have pledged financial backing to compensate for losses that resulted from the Bush Administration's five-day ban on Chilean fruit, officials representing Chilean exporters and U.S. importers announced Thursday.
BUSINESS
March 18, 1989 | From a Times Staff Writer
The federal government's decision to temporarily ban imported Chilean fruit after the discovery of two cyanide-laced grapes was widely supported by the American public, according to a Times Poll. The survey asked 1,158 adults nationwide to evaluate the Food and Drug Administration's response to the tainted grapes found in a shipment in Philadelphia: Did it overreact or was the move a prudent exercise of caution? Sixty-eight percent of those questioned thought the government had acted prudently.
NEWS
March 18, 1989 | DAVID LAUTER, Times Staff Writer
Federal officials on Friday strongly defended the method they have chosen to ensure that fruit imported from Chile is safe, saying that a random sampling of 5% of the grapes and berries should be enough to detect any poison. But many of the details of the inspection system must still be worked out and the fact remains that, even when the system finally is in place, 95% of the fruit will not be looked at by inspectors.
NEWS
January 1, 1993 | From Associated Press
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not responsible for $210 million lost by Chilean fruit growers when their products were banned during a cyanide scare in 1989, a federal judge has ruled. The scare began when anonymous callers to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile, claimed that fruit exported to the United States would be injected with cyanide. The FDA reported March 12, 1989, that it had found cyanide in two grapes taken from a ship docked in Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 3, 1990 | MARLENE CIMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Food and Drug Administration acted appropriately and within its legal authority in responding to the March, 1989, Chilean grape poisoning scare, the General Accounting Office has concluded in a draft report obtained Tuesday by The Times. The investigation was requested last year by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who was concerned about the economic impact of the FDA's actions. The congressional watchdog agency's draft report was completed in August but has not yet been released by Helms' office.
BUSINESS
August 6, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Fruit Inspection Fee: Fifteen importers of Chilean fruit and vegetables sued Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors and the county agricultural commissioner, claiming that the companies are being charged an illegal mandatory inspection fee for some produce. The Los Angeles Superior Court case said the county last August approved an inspection fee of 3 1/2 cents per package on some imported fruits, nuts and vegetables to be sold in California.
BUSINESS
April 3, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Bo Mesing--only his banker knows him as John, he says--has been in the organic produce business for a decade. Last year, deciding to break fresh ground, he lined up eight farmers in Chile to grow organic cantaloupes to import through his new firm, Certified Organic. Once unloaded in Los Angeles, the fruit would be distributed by Rainbow Natural Foods, a Denver firm specializing in organic fruits and vegetables whose Los Angles operation Mesing manages.
NEWS
March 31, 1989
Chilean police said that two cyanide-tainted grapes that prompted a five-day U.S. embargo on Chilean fruit were poisoned en route to or in the United States but not in Chile. Gen. Fernando Paredes, investigative police chief, said preliminary results of laboratory tests showed that grapes injected with cyanide in Chile would have rotted before reaching the United States. Authorities said full testing would take about a month. The U.S.
BUSINESS
March 28, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Fearing that some shoppers may shy away from the produce section altogether after the recent apple and grape scares, California grocers will unveil a major offensive today aimed at winning back consumer confidence in fresh fruits and vegetables. The effort is expected to include broader quality-control work, more food inspections and a stepped up program of food education for shoppers and produce workers.
NEWS
March 31, 1989
Chilean police said that two cyanide-tainted grapes that prompted a five-day U.S. embargo on Chilean fruit were poisoned en route to or in the United States but not in Chile. Gen. Fernando Paredes, investigative police chief, said preliminary results of laboratory tests showed that grapes injected with cyanide in Chile would have rotted before reaching the United States. Authorities said full testing would take about a month. The U.S.
NEWS
March 17, 1989 | MARLENE CIMONS, Times Staff Writer
U.S. and Chilean officials working to resolve the Chilean fruit crisis indicated Thursday that they are nearing an agreement on a plan to protect the safety of future imports from that nation. But they said that they remain stymied over what to do with all the produce that has arrived here since the discovery of two poisoned grapes earlier this week.
NEWS
March 27, 1989
Federal officials still do not know who injected cyanide into two grapes from Chile, although the origin of the crop has been identified, the head of the Food and Drug Administration said. Commissioner Frank E. Young told reporters on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the FDA's public warning and decision to withhold Chilean fruit from U.S. markets on March 13 was justified because the agency had received two threats about cyanide-laced fruit.
BUSINESS
March 25, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
The federal Food and Drug Administration approved inspection procedures late Friday for all remaining varieties of Chilean fruit in cold storage since two cyanide-tainted grapes were found March 12 in cargo unloaded in Philadelphia. The FDA previously cleared the way for inspection of grapes, berries, nectarines and pears, requiring 5% of each boatload to be scrutinized before allowing it to move into stores.
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