MIAMI (CBSLocal) – If reports that a banned fungicide had been found in orange juice sold in the US had you cutting back your consumption of OJ, the Feds say it’s OK to loose the juice. It confirmed the banned product is in the imported juice, but said the levels are so low it poses no health hazard.
The report by the FDA followed extensive testing, and was the first official determination of the safety of products with the fungicide carbendazim. Brazil, a major exporter of juice to the US, uses the product in growing their oranges, even though its use is banned in the US.
While most oranges grown in Florida are used for juice, for years the state has not grown enough juice oranges to meet the demand. While some manufacturers stick to the Florida-only strategy, others, including major national brands, blend in imported juice.
It was in those brands the illegal carbendazim was found.
The FDA said that nine of 14 samples taken Florida juice holding tanks Florida tested positive at up to 36 parts per billion. EPA-cited studies show no risks at up to 80 parts per billion, and believe the true danger level to be much higher.
So what will the Feds do with the juice containing carbendazim? At this point, nothing. No juice will be banned from entering the country, and the brands found with the fungicide will not be recalled.