US citrus group files lawsuit against USDA over Argentinian lemons

A group of California citrus growers has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Citrus Science Council issued a press release claiming the rule to allow Argentinian lemons into the U.S. violates the Plant Protection Act the House Agriculture Committee passed in 2000.

The lawsuit claims incomplete science and politics led to the decision to lift the ban. “It is obvious that political considerations outweighed the basic administrative process and science for the past 12 months,” U.S. Citrus Science Council Chair, and Santa Paula Lemon grower, Richard Pidduck stated in the release.

California Citrus Mutual has adamantly opposed the rule also, claiming it will expose California’s lemon industry to pests and diseases. CCM President Joel Nelson told AgNet West, “The foundation of this rule and the execution of the rule-making process under the Obama administration and now the Trump administration is laden with hypocrisy, ignores transparency, and dismisses the scientific and economic data that prove the rule will have significant negative consequences for California’s $3 billion fresh citrus industry.”


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