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Lawmakers trying to end Mexico's wheat ban

May 17, 2002|STAFF REPORT

U.S. Reps. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista, and Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, are trying to persuade federal officials to end Mexico's ban on California wheat imports.

Mexico banned California wheat in 1996 because of an outbreak of karnal bunt in Southern California and southwestern wheat fields.

Hunter, Filner and other congressional representatives sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick stating the Mexican restrictions cannot be justified because the outbreak was quickly contained.

Wheat was ranked the third highest value field crop in Imperial County in 2000.

The ban is outdated and unnecessarily harms California's wheat farmers, Filner stated in a press release.

The disease is found and limited to the Palo Verde Valley of California. The USDA has the area quarantined.

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