Webster Supports Defending Domestic Orange Juice Production Act
Washington, DC - Today, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R-Clermont, supported U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) in introducing the Defending Domestic Orange Juice Production Act. This legislation would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revise its regulations for pasteurized orange juice. Specifically, it would direct the FDA to lower the required level of sugar/solids content (brix standard) in not-from-concentrate pasteurized orange juice from 10.5 percent weight of orange juice soluble solids to 10 percent.
“Florida’s citrus industry is a critical component of our agricultural economy and the Sunshine State is the largest producer of orange juice in the nation,“ said Rep. Webster. “Our citrus farmers, their employees and the Americans who enjoy Florida orange juice shouldn’t be denied this staple drink because of some arbitrary FDA standard. This legislation is a commonsense solution for our citrus growers to continue to provide the best oranges and orange juice in the world.”
“Forcing the orange juice industry to import and mix juice from foreign oranges to meet an arbitrary FDA standard would mean the end of Florida orange juice,” said Sen. Rubio. “This common sense bill will provide relief to Florida citrus growers and processors who have faced challenges in recent years due to diseases and hurricanes, and allow them to continue marketing Florida orange juice.”
“Florida’s citrus growers work incredibly hard to make sure American families can drink delicious, fresh from Florida orange juice,” said Sen. Scott. “Unfortunately, growers across our state have faced hardship in recent years due to crop disease and severe weather.”
“Every effort needs to be made to ensure that Florida citrus growers continue to have access to the markets, the opportunity to compete, and the ability to sell their world-class oranges,” said Rep. Posey.
Additional co-sponsors for the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives include U.S. Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Gregory Steube (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).