Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today commended Secretary of Defense William Cohen for his decision to delay the transfer of the military's fresh produce distribution operations from San Francisco to Seattle. Sec. Cohen announced that he would suspend the move of the Defense Subsistence Office Korean airlift operations from San Francisco to Seattle for 90 days in order to reevaluate the justification for the relocation. It was scheduled to take affect on Monday, May 11, 1998.
In a May 6, 1998 letter to Sec. Cohen, Rep. Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) challenged the DoD's findings that transferring the purchasing authority to Seattle would save money. "When so much of the fruit and vegetables airlifted to Korea come from California fields, it's hard to understand how shipping the produce to Seattle saves money," Pelosi said.
Currently, the military ships approximately 1.15 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to Korea monthly. Approximately 250,000 pounds is airlifted. "This decision could have a serious impact on local growers and vendors and the quality of produce shipped to Korea," Pelosi said. "Until we can get a full accounting of this impact, we cannot move forward."
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