Analysis of Certain Aspects of the California-Arizona Navel Orange Marketing Order

CED-81-129: Published: Jul 2, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1981.

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GAO reviewed certain aspects of the California-Arizona navel orange marketing order and provided background information on marketing orders in general and more specifically on the navel orange marketing order.

GAO found that: (1) the Navel Orange Administrative Committee's composition, which is established in Federal regulations, only assures adequate consideration of navel orange industry interests because it consists primarily of industry members; (2) about 83,000 tons of oranges were sold as cattle feed this year; (3) there was no evidence that fruit was dumped or otherwise destroyed; (4) 1980-81 orange prices may have been lower without the marketing order, but the long-range implications of marketing order termination are unknown; (5) many of the oranges fed to cattle came from groves receiving Federal water but it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly how much; (6) the composition of the marketing order Committee does not violate Federal conflict-of-interest laws; (7) the Navel Orange Administrative Committee does not have the authority to advertise oranges generically, but growers who favor generic advertising are seeking ways of doing so outside of the Committee; (8) handlers who have spoken out against the marketing order have not been audited more frequently than others; and (9) two growers have received extra compensation for serving on the Committee, but this practice has ceased because the Department of Agriculture said it was unacceptable and would result in removal of the growers from the Committee.

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