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CONSUMER ALERT PRAISES DECISION TO END CITRUS QUOTAS

 WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- CONSUMER ALERT issued the following:
 CONSUMER ALERT, a nationwide consumer organization, today praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its decision to no longer allow a small group of fruit growers to limit sales of naval oranges and lemons grown in California and Arizona.
 CONSUMER ALERT has fought the quotas for years and urged their termination this year when the USDA had severely restricted the shipment of the 1992-93 crop of California and Arizona naval oranges to American consumers. In a November letter to Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan, for example, CONSUMER ALERT urged total termination of the quotas and stated, "Consumers should not have to pay higher prices for food simply to allow a monopoly sanctioned by the government to make more money."
 The quotas could have ended up costing consumers a total of $300 million this season if the quotas had not been terminated by the USDA yesterday.
 "On behalf of the thousands of members of Consumer Alert," CONSUMER ALERT Executive Director Scott Pattison wrote Madigan today, "we thank you for ending the quotas on oranges and lemons. All American consumers will benefit from the termination. The quotas do nothing more than raise prices for consumers and fatten the pockets of large corporate producers."
 Even the USDA has recognized how consumers are harmed by the quotas. "Consumers will have access to more fresh fruit at reduced prices, while the increased quantity of fruit expected to be sold on the fresh market will increase producer revenue and provide more job opportunities for pickers and packers," USDA said in a news release.
 CONSUMER ALERT is a nationwide non-profit organization committed to protecting individual freedom, a healthy society and economic growth.
 -0- 12/15/92
 /CONTACT: Scott Pattison of CONSUMER ALERT, 703-875-8644 or 703-845-8802/


CO: CONSUMER ALERT ST: District of Columbia, California IN: SU:

TW -- DC021 -- 7363 12/15/92 15:59 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 15, 1992
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