Nation: Bittersweet Battle

Sugar and price and disappearing documents

World sugar prices have plummeted from 65¢ per Ib. in 1974 to 7¢ today. That is good news for consumers, particularly for the country's biggest user, Coca-Cola Co. Each 1¢ drop in sugar prices saves Coke $20 million a year. But the tumbling prices are bad news for domestic growers of sugar cane and sugar beets, who contend they need a price of 17¢ per Ib. to meet their production costs.

The price fluctuations set the stage for a bitter controversy that has raged in Washington for months. Senator Frank Church of Idaho has turned beet red...

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