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CONSUMER GROUP URGES END TO QUOTAS ON ORANGES

 ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- Consumer Alert issued the following:
 Consumer Alert, a nationwide consumer organization, today called upon Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan to stop imposing quotas on the winter crop of California and Arizona oranges. Limits on the amount of oranges that can be sold in the United States will significantly raise orange prices for America's consumers during this holiday season.
 "The imposition of quotas will do nothing but raise prices for American consumers. American consumers do not need higher priced foods, such as oranges, this winter. The thousands of members of Consumer Alert ask you to end the imposition of quotas on this winter's orange crop," wrote Consumer Alert executive director Scott Pattison.
 Madigan approved quotas last Friday severely restricting the shipment of the 1992-93 crop of California and Arizona navel oranges to American consumers. Only 50 million cartons are permitted to be sold out of a crop of 85 million cartons. The additional oranges must be exported, fed to cattle, juiced or left to rot. The result: quotas will cost consumers up to $300 million, plus the cost of having to forego the consumption of the 2 billion fresh oranges kept out of our grocery stores altogether.
 Madigan's decision merely rubber stamps a recommendation by an industry cartel controlled by Sunkist Growers, Inc. of Sherman Oaks, Calif. The cartel recommended the 50 million carton quota last July and amazingly, the department -- through what is termed a "marketing order" -- has accepted virtually the entire proposal despite opposition from nearly everyone except the Sunkist Corporation. This is nothing less than a price-gouging corporate cartel sanctioned by the U.S. Government.
 "During these sluggish economic times, consumers should not have to pay higher prices for food simply to allow a monopoly sanctioned by the government to make more money," the letter to Madigan stated.
 Consumer Alert is a nationwide non-profit organization committed to protecting individual freedom, a healthy society and economic growth.
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Scott Pattison of Consumer Alert, 703-875-8644~


CO: Consumer Alert ST: California, Arizona IN: SU:

DC -- DC005 -- 0994 11~24~92 10:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992
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