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Amended Grade Standards for Imported Raisins under Consideration

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking comments by 17 October on a proposal to amend the grade standards for imported raisins as well as raisins produced from grapes grown in California to remove the term “midget” from the marketing order. Paragraph (a) of Section 989.702 of the raisin marketing order specifies minimum grade standards for packed natural (sun-dried) seedless raisins, requiring small (midget)-sized raisins to meet U.S. Grade C tolerances with respect to pieces of stem and underdeveloped and substandard raisins. AMS notes, however, that the word “midget” is redundant to the term “small” and its removal is insignificant. Grade standards are used as a common language among traders and serve as a means of measuring value in the marketing of agricultural products.

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