Florida citrus growers lose battle against imported Chinese fruit

You may do a double-take next time you go to the produce stand or grocery store. There could be new varieties of citrus on the shelves, including pomelos and three kinds of Mandarin oranges, and local growers are not happy about it.

The United States Department of Agriculture just approved the importation of certain kinds of Chinese citrus, a move that many American growers have been fighting for years.

“Fresh citrus from China comes in, floods the market, and depresses prices to our growers,” said Andrew Meadows, spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual, the state’s largest growers group.

“When you’re talking about imported Chinese citrus fruit, there’s always the possibility that there could be vectors for disease,” he continued.

The USDA says the growers' fears are overblown.

The decision to allow the imports was just made on Wednesday, April 15.