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imported dates, date products, figs and fig paste from the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the Department of Agriculture. The California date and fig industries, aided by the Department of Agriculture, have attempted for the past several years to limit the importation of these products by Tariff Commission action, under section 22 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The Tariff Commission, in each instance, has recommended against any such limitations in their reports to the President, and the President has upheld their recommendations.
It seems clear to us that the purpose of the above bills is to secure, through legislative action, limitation of imports that have not been secured by the actions before the Tariff Commission by applying color, grade, size, or other restrictions that are unnecessary from a health standpoint to imported dates which are different in variety and characteristics from California dates. These bills could, in our opinion, serve no other purpose, as the Food and Drug Administration has constantly and in our opinion properly inspected the quality of all importations of these mentioned products for many, many years.
If these bills are enacted, and accomplish the undoubted purpose of their proponents to limit imports of dates and date products and figs and fig products, they will seriously interfere with the import business of many of our members, and will antagonize three important members of the Baghdad Pact, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, whose help and understanding are so vital to the freedom of the Western World.
The proposed legislation would appear to indicate that the proponents believe the Food and Drug Administration is lax in enforcing the pure-food laws. We cannot coincide with this view.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the import merchants' and import agents' divisions of the Association of Food Distributor, Inc.
T. R. SCHOONMAKER,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C., March 4, 1958. Hon. HARLAN HAGEN,
House of Representatives. DEAR CONGRESSMAN HAGEN : In accordance with your request to Mr. S. R. Smith at the hearing on H. R. 7760 and related bills on February 25, 1958, the following additional information concerning fruit and vegetable marketing orders and related import regulations is submitted.
There is attached a list of the fruit and vegetable marketing orders by commodities and areas which are currently in effect. These orders cover 26 commodities and all of them except lemons and almonds, regulate shipments by quality, grade, size, or maturity. The lemon and almond orders contain volume regulations only.
There are attached copies of the import regulations which are currently in effect for six commodities under section 8 (e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agree ment Act. A summary of these regulations is as follows: Commodity
Import regulation 1. Potatoes
Round varieties—U. S. No. 1; 244-inch-4-inch diameter ;
fairly clean. Long varieties—U. S. No. 2; 2-inch or 4-ounce minimum, size
A ; fairly clean. 2. Tomatoes.- U. S. No. 3; 17-inch minimum. 3. Cucumbers--- U. S. No. 2 except pickling varieties which are exempt from
all grade requirements except decay. 4. Avocados.- U. S. No. 2; 10-ounce minimum. 5. Grapefruit---- U. S. No. 2 Russet grade; size 80 seeded; size 112 seedless :
minimum juice content and ratio of solids to acid are
specified by size and by total solids content, respectively. 6. Limes.
U. S. No. 2 grade except that the color requirement applies
only to the Persian varieties. The food and drug standards for these commodities are limited largely to factors which would constitute adulteration or be deleterious to health, such as insect infestation, chemical additives, pesticide residues, etc. On the other hand, the USDA import regulations are based on marketing factors such as size, color, shape, cuts, bruises, maturity, etc.
We and the Food and Drug Administration have compared our requirements for the commodities which the various bills under consideration would bring into section 8 (e) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act. We find that this Department puts decidedly greater emphasis on the "quality" factors to which we have referred than does the Food and Drug Administration. Conversely, the Food and Drug Administration gives greater attention to chemical additives and labeling than does this Department. With respect to those factors of adulteration under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which involve filth and decomposition, we find that both our organizations use the same methods of detection and have the same allowances or tolerances.
Current domestic regulations in effect for citrus, dates, walnuts, and dried figs, which would be applicable to imports if these commodities were now included in section 8 (e), are as follows: Commodity
Current domestic regulation 1. Temple oranges--- U. S. No. 2 Russet ; 2016-inch minimum diameter. 2. Oranges, except
Temples.--- U. S. No. 2; 29/16-inch minimum diameter. 3. Tangelos--- U. S. No. 2 Russet; 2446-inch minimum diameter. 4. Tangerines--- U. S. No. 2 Russet for external and U. S. No. 3 for internal
defects; ze 246. 5. Dates (including U. S. Grade C except Deglet Noor dates have a higher re
different styles quirement for character (a measure of maturity).
macerated, etc.) 6. Shelled walnuts--- U. 8. Commercial; amber or lighter color; %4-inch mini
mum size. 7. Dried figs.-- Not more than 10 percent of the figs may have defects
caused by insects, mold, sourness, filth, or by worthless figs of which not more than 12, or 5 percent, may be
damaged by insects. The current marketing-order regulation for dried figs is the only one which is limited to what would be considered as "Food and Drug factors.” However, under the provisions of this order, the minimum quality standards could be broadened to limit the amount of other defects, such as scars, disease, sunburn, mechanical injury, sugaring, color, flavor, and moisture. The pertinent provisions of the current dried-fig regulations are:
"Maximum tolerances for dried figs for shipment or other final disposition.Tolerance allowances for such dried figs shall not be in excess of the following: For dried figs being prepared in the form of package, carton, or bulk (including dried figs for conversion into juice or concentrate), total defective dried figs shall not exceed 10 percent.
"For dried figs being prepared as fig paste, or sliced dried figs being prepared as fig paste, or sliced dried figs being prepared for disposition as sliced dried figs : (1) Total defective figs shall not exceed 10 percent, including not more than 5 percent of insect-infested dried figs, and (2) no sliced dried figs or fig paste shall contain more than 13 insect heads per 100 grams."
The current marketing-order regulations for the other six commodities listed above, except dried figs, presently include quality limitations in addition to Food and Drug factors. For example, the U. S. Grade C Standard for dates specifies requirements for character, color, uniformity of size, and limitation of damage by deformity, scars, sunburn, improper hydrating, mashing, mechanical injury, lack of pollination, blacknose, sidespot, black scald, improper ripening, puffiness, and other defects. In addition, not more than 5 percent of the dates may be affected by souring, mold, dirt, insect infestation, foreign material, or decay. The first group of factors would be classified as quality factors and the latter group as adulteration factors. Similar circumstances apply to the citrus products and walnuts in that the United States grade standards on which the current regulations are based cover quality and condition factors beyond the scope of Food and Drug standards.
All imports of commodities for which minimum quality standards are now in effect under section 8 (e) are subject to USDA inspection. It would be necessary and desirable to apply the same inspection requirements to any additional commodities for which import standards are established. Experience in administering domestic marketing order regulations indicates that comprehensive official inspection provides the only feasible means of securing effective application and uniform compliance with such regulations. Importers, therefore, should be sub
ject to the same inspection requirements as domestic shippers and handlers. There are USDA fruit and vegetable inspection officers, laboratories, and trained personnel located in or near the major ports of entry on both the east and west coasts. Please advise if further information on this subject is desired. Sincerely yours,
ROY W. LENNARTSON,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DIVISION
Marketing agreements and orders in effect for fruits, vegetables, and nuts,
Feb. 6, 1958
May 21, 1949
Oct. 9, 1950
Aug. 26, 1951
Oct. 19, 1957
Sept. 1, 1955
May 21, 1949 39 Aug. 26, 1939 Oct.
9, 1950 93 Aug. 25, 1949
Aug, 26, 1951
Oct. 19, 1957 89 Aug. 18, 1949
Sept. 1, 1955
Marketing agreements and orders in effect for fruits, vegetables, and nuts,
Feb. 6, 1958—Continued
1 Areas are given by States only. For specific area covered, see marketing agreement or marketing order.
2 Date given is for marketing order only, as no marketing agreement was issued at that time. The marketing order was issued pursuant to the authority
contained in the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended, authorizing such orders without an accompanying marketing agreement.
* Provisions relating to minimum standards of quality, additional grade regulation, volume regulation, inspection requirements, and collection of assessments became effective Sept. 1, 1955.
• Provisions relating to grade regulation and inspection requirements became effective Sept. 1, 1949.
(Marketing Agreements and Orders)
SUBCHAPTER B—PROHIBITIONS OF IMPORTED COMMODITIES
8 1065.3 Tomato Regulation No. 3. (a) Findings and determinations. (1) Notice of rule making regarding proposed restrictions on importation of tomatoes into the United States, to be made effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U. S. C. 601 et seq.; 68 Stat. 906, 1047), was published in the FEDERAL REGISTER October 15, 1957 (22 F. R. 8153). After consideration of all relevant matters presented, including the proposals set forth in the aforesaid notice, and the data, views, and arguments submitted by interested parties, it is hereby found that the restrictions on the importation of tomatoes into the United States, as hereinafter provided, are in accordance with the act.
(2) It is hereby found and determined that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this regulation beyond that herein specified (5 U. S. C. 1001 et seq.) in that (i) the requirements established by this import regulation are issued pursuant to section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U. S. C. 601 et seq.
68 Stat. 906, 1047), which makes such regulation mandatory; (ii) the same regulations are in effect on domestic shipments of tomatoes under Marketing Agreement No. 125 and Order No. 45 (7 CFR 945.304; 22 F. R. 7984); (iii) compliance with this tomato import regulation should not require any special preparation by importers which cannot be completed by the effective date; (iv) notice hereof is in excess of the minimum period of three days specified in section 8e of the act; (v) in fixing the effective date hereof due consideration has been given to the time required for the transportation and entry into the United States after picking of imported tomatoes to which this regulation is applicable as required by section 8e of the act; (vi) such notice is hereby determined to be reasonable; and (vii) the regulations hereby established for tomatoes that may be imported into the United States comply with grade, size, quality, and maturity restrictions imposed upon domestic tomatoes under the aforesaid marketing agreement and order.
(b) Import restrictions. During the period from November 10, 1957, to June 30, 1958, both dates inclusive, and subject to the General Regulations (7 CFR Part 1060; 19 F. R. 7707, 8012) applicable to the importation of listed commodities and the requirements of this section, no person shall import any tomatoes of any variety, except elongated types, commonly referred to as pear shaped or paste tomatoes and including, but not limited to San Marzano, Red Top, and Roma varieties; and cerasiform type tomatoes, commonly referred to as cherry tomatoes, unless such tomatoes meet the requirements of the U. S. No. 3, or better grade, and are 1% inches minimum diameter or larger: Provided, That not more than ten (10) percent, by count, of the tomatoes in any lot of 7 38 (1%inches minimum diameter to 248 inches maximum diameter) may be smaller than the specified minimum diameter.
(c) Minimum quantities. Any importation which in the aggregate does not exceed 60-pounds, may be imported without regard to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.
(d) Plant quarantine. No provisions of this section shall supersede the restrictions or prohibitions on tomatoes under the Plant Quarantine Act of 1912.
(e) Inspection and cerification. (1) The Federal or the Federal-State Inspection Service, Fruit and Vegetable Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, is hereby designated, pursuant to $ 1060.4 (a) of the General Regulations, as the governmental inspection service for the purpose of certifying the grade, size, quality, and maturity of tomatoes that are imported, into the United States under the provisions of section 8e of the act.
(2) Inspection and certification by the Federal or the Federal-State Inspection Service of each lot of imported tomatoes is required pursuant to § 1060.3 Eligible Imports of the aforesaid General Regulations and this section. Each such lot shall be made available and accessible for inspection. Such inspection and certification will be made available in accordance with the rules and regulations governing inspection and certification of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products (7 CFR Part 51). Since inspectors may not be stationed in the immediate vicinity of some smaller ports of entry, importers of uninspected and uncertified tomatoes should make advance arrangements for inspection by ascer. taining whether or not there is an inspector located at their particular port of entry. For all ports of entry where an inspection office is not located each importer must give the specified advance notice of the applicable office listed below prior to the time the tomatoes will be imported.
All Texas points...
All Arizona points.
W. T. McNabb, 222 McClendon Bldg., 305 East Jackson St., Har- | 1 day.
lingen, Tex. (Telephone, Garfield 3-5644).
Office Box 1616, Nogales, Ariz. (Telephone, Atwater 7–2902).
Central Ave., Los Angeles 21, Calif. (Telephone, Vandike $756).
NW. 21st Ter., Miami 42, Fla. (Telephone, Franklin 1-6932).
tion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Division, AMS, Washington,
(3) Inspection certificates shall cover only the quantity of tomatoes that is being imported at a particular port of entry by a particular importer.