St. Petersburg, FL –Save Citrus, a new coalition of citrus growers and industry partners, launched the first in a series of educational radio ads aimed at fellow growers. This ad focuses on a state-sponsored referendum on whether to continue the mechanism to tax growers to fund research that has proven ineffective. The transcript of the ad follows:
Attention growers – you have an important decision to make. The Citrus Research and Development Foundation wants a three cent per box levy on your fruit to fund their activities.
Are your groves better off now than they were ten years ago?
Has CRDF done anything to help you after spending over one hundred eighty million dollars to save your groves from citrus greening?
Don’t throw your good money at an organization that does nothing for you. Just say NO when the CRDF asks you for the three cent per box levy.
Paid for by the folks at SaveCitrus.com
“People are wise to the self-dealing game the CRDF is playing: claim they are working on a cure for citrus greening, collect money from hard-working growers and the state, transfer the money to BigAg behemoths like Monsanto and claim the only solution to the problem is paying more money to BigAg. Enough is enough. The CRDF has spent over $180,000,000 and they’re no closer to a solution than they were when they started,” said Jesse Rojas, Director of Save Citrus.
The CRDF is funded by citrus growers and the state of Florida. CRDF’s mission is to cure citrus greening (also known as Huang Long Bing or HLB) which has devastated Florida’s citrus groves and caused crop output to drop to the lowest levels since World War II. Agriculture used to be a large part of Florida’s economy and many food processors located plants in the citrus region. Now many of them are forced to import citrus from Mexico.
Save Citrus encourages growers to reject the mechanism that sets the box tax, and to pursue other HLB cures in development (such as those linked here) and urge leaders in state government to stop wasting taxpayer money on an entity that merely transfers resources to the Research-Industrial Complex which hasn’t resulted in cures.
“We hope growers vote no on the mechanism to assess the box tax and to alternatives to the CRDF. Growers and Florida’s taxpayers deserve better,” concluded Rojas.