AGRICULTURE: Fugitives From Florida

Fugitives From Florida

When Texas state inspectors set up checkpoints last week along two major highways leading into the state, they were not worried about escaped convicts or gunrunners. They were on the lookout for fugitives from Florida: oranges, grapefruit and other citrus. The roadblocks were the latest development in a tart tussle among citrus-growing states that began earlier this month, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted a ban on shipments of the fresh Florida fruit to Arizona, California and Texas, among other citrus-producing areas.

The temporary ban was imposed in 1984 to halt an epidemic of canker, a deadly plant disease. In...

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