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Sour lemons

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SCOTT JAGOW: Today U.S. trade officials launch an investigation into lemons. Not bad cars. The fruit. U.S. lemon farmers say they’re getting squeezed. Rachel Dornhelm reports.


RACHEL DORNHELM: The citrus cooperative Sunkist Growers is the biggest producer of domestic lemon juice.

But spokeswoman Claire Smith says its growers have seen a big hit to their profits in recent years.

CLAIRE SMITH: Well, the problem is that over the past three years, the U.S. market has been flooded with lemon juice from Mexico and Argentina that’s being sold below their cost of production.

This lemon juice is mainly used as a base for beverages, though it also shows up in products like cleaning solutions.

The U.S. International Trade Commission says Sunkist’s charges of dumping have merit and will spend the next four months investigating.

Smith says this is the first time in 20 years Sunkist has invoked anti-dumping rules.

I’m Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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