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Florida tomato industry in "complete collapse"

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posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 01:16 PM
MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida's tomato industry is in "complete collapse" and $40 million worth of tomatoes will rot unless federal regulators quickly trace the source of a salmonella outbreak and clear the state's produce, an industry official said on Tuesday.

"We probably have $40 million worth of product we can't sell. We've had to stop packing, stop picking," said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday warned U.S. consumers that the outbreak was linked to eating certain raw red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes, and products containing these tomatoes. Several major restaurant and grocery chains have stopped selling those varieties.

"It fundamentally shut down the industry," he said. "The stuff that should have been harvested over the weekend won't survive more than another day or so.

Florida is the largest tomato-producing state, with a crop valued at $500 million to $700 million annually, he said. The state produces more than 90 percent of the nation's tomatoes this time of year, Brown said.

are they tring to take away our food supply, one item at a time? rice,wheat,flour,corn now tomatoes- whats next???


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