Chilean Restrictions on Lettuce

GGD-95-49R: Published: Dec 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the Chilean government's ban on the sale of certain fresh produce in all commercial food establishments; and (2) a U.S. fast food chain's efforts to have the ban lifted. GAO noted that: (1) Chile imposed the ban in 1991 as a precaution against possible outbreaks of cholera; (2) in September 1994, the Chilean Ministry of Health indicated that it would lift the ban on lettuce for the U.S. corporation if it guaranteed that the lettuce was cholera-free and other Chilean government bodies agreed; (3) because it could not import lettuce, the U.S. corporation proposed using a closed system for the production, processing, and distribution of fresh lettuce; and (4) as of November 1994, the Chilean government had not completed action on lifting the ban.

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