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STRICT QUALITY STANDARDS EMPLOYED FOR FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE

 LAKELAND, Fla., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was released today by the State of Florida Department of Citrus in response to Dateline NBC's Nov. 16 story on orange juice adulteration:
 Orange juice produced in Florida is subject to regular, thorough testing to ensure that it meets government standards and contains nothing but 100 percent pure orange juice.
 The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) and its governing board, the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC), encourage consumers to look for orange juice carrying the Florida Sunshine Tree symbol or Florida's Seal of Approval. In addition, many well-known brands are packed by Florida processors. A complete list is available through the FDOC.
 The FCC and the FDOC stand behind the excellent quality of orange juice provided to consumers by Florida-based processors. All product produced in the state of Florida is subject to stringent standards and mandatory inspection by the FDOC's product monitoring laboratories. Therefore, selecting juice packed by Florida-based processors is the consumers' assurance that the orange juice they are enjoying has been thoroughly tested to meet demanding regulations.
 The FDOC product monitoring lab also tests juice packed by out-of- state companies.
 Contrary to the "Dateline NBC" report, during the past 10 years, less than one percent of orange juice sold in this country was adulterated.
 Both the FCC and the FDOC believe adulteration should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In the extremely rare instance when adulteration is noted and confirmed through FDOC's product monitoring specialists, the Department's legal staff immediately notify the Food and Drug Administration, so that it may provide regulatory enforcement.
 Orange juice is a vital part of the daily American diet, providing great taste, health and nutrition benefits. It is naturally high in vitamin C and potassium, and also contains folate. The latest body of evidence suggests that vitamin C, an important antioxidant, may have a role in protecting against cancer.
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: Ivy M. Leventhal, director of public relations, Florida Department of Citrus, 813-499-2468/


CO: Florida Department of Citrus; Dateline NBC ST: Florida IN: FOD ENT SU:

AW-SS -- FL024 -- 5700 11/17/93 16:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
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