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Chile Agriculture

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.
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NEWS
March 17, 1989 | JAMES F. SMITH, Times Staff Writer
Despite the torrents of rhetoric pouring forth over Chile's "grapes of wrath," no one has yet made a persuasive case explaining who could benefit by poisoning exported fruit--and shutting down a vital national industry. Lacking an obvious culprit at home, many Chileans have focused their ire on the United States, which banned Chilean fruit Monday after finding traces of cyanide in two grapes. A few hundred protesters assembled outside the U.S.
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.
BUSINESS
March 16, 1989 | BOB DROGIN, Times Staff Writer
Talk about looking for a needle in a haystack. Based on nothing more than an anonymous tip, 166 U.S. Food and Drug Administration field inspectors and other officials began checking 12,000 out of 362,000 crates of Chilean fruit unloaded from a freighter on the Delaware River. Each time they found a bruised apple, discolored nectarine or punctured grape, they sent it downtown. There, on Sunday night, the 19 scientists in the FDA labs on the 11th floor of the U.S.
NEWS
March 16, 1989 | JAMES F. SMITH, Times Staff Writer
Even in a town accustomed to earthquakes, people are finding it impossible to fathom the worldwide shock waves emanating from their two bad grapes. Curacavi, a town of 8,000 residents west of Santiago that built its future on grapes and other fruits for export, now is collectively dumbfounded.
NEWS
March 16, 1989 | MARLENE CIMONS, Times Staff Writer
Under intense pressure to resolve the Chilean fruit crisis, federal Food and Drug Administration officials and Chilean government representatives Wednesday labored to forge a system to prevent tampering with fruit exports from that nation and to allow release of tons of impounded produce stacking up in refrigerated warehouses in U.S. port cities. "It's important to bring a restoration to normal," FDA Commissioner Frank E. Young said in an interview Wednesday.
BUSINESS
March 16, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Supermarket fruit prices remained relatively stable Wednesday despite the controversies surrounding the safety of fresh fruit, but on the wholesale market there were ominous signs of change because of altered supply and demand. Prices of fresh Central American bananas and California-Arizona oranges were sharply higher in wholesale markets on Wednesday while apple prices slumped.
BUSINESS
March 16, 1989 | JESUS SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
First thing Tuesday morning, produce manager Michael S. Sakamoto yanked out the Chilean grapes from the shelves and replaced them with cut melons, limes and papayas. He then spent the day allaying fears and talking to customers at the Hub Mart in Silver Lake about the latest news of tainted Chilean fruit and chemicals in apples.
BUSINESS
March 15, 1989 | BRUCE KEPPEL
According to Food and Drug Administration officials, the case of the tampered grapes from Chile--two berries among 335,976 cases of red seedless grapes that reached the United States last weekend, began at the end of last month. A chronology: Feb. 27--The refrigerated freighter Almeria Star, loaded with Chilean grapes and other fruits, steams toward the Port of Philadelphia. March 2--The U.S.
NEWS
March 15, 1989 | JAMES F. SMITH, Times Staff Writer
The Chilean fruit industry, stunned by a U.S. import ban, ordered a 72-hour halt to all packaging and shipping Tuesday to allow thorough inspections meant to reassure foreign markets that the products are safe to eat. Bitter domestic political recriminations circulated on the day after the American announcement that traces of cyanide were found in two grapes in a shipment from Chile. The government described the case as "terrorism, backed by international communism."
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