FDA Halts Orange Juice Imports

Most imports of orange juice are being held at the border by the FDA, after they found trace levels of an unapproved chemical fungicide called carbendazim in orange juice coming from Brazil. Today, the FDA cleared Canadian imports of orange juice and will release the shipments after the results are finalized.

The FDA is reportedly stepping up testing, holding shipments at the border, and planning on spot-checking juices in grocery stores to see how widespread the problem is.

Coca-Cola tipped off the FDA about the fungicide, saying the Brazilian growers sprayed carbendazim on their orange trees; the chemical has not been approved for use in citrus in the U.S.

However, officials say the amount of carbendazim is not a public health risk, as the amount is lower than the approved level in Europe.

Carbendazim reportedly helps fight black spot, a fungus on the fruit which doesn't affect taste or crop. Studies have linked the chemical to a higher risk of liver tumors in animals.

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