(NaturalNews) During the month of January 2012, the FDA detained nearly 14% of imported orange juice shipments to the US because it contained the fungicide carbendazim which is not approved for use in this country. According the US Juice Products Association, the solution is to change the regulations so that the fungicide-tainted juice can enter the country.
Chemical orange juice
The federal regulatory agency began testing imported orange juice for the prohibited chemical after Coca-Cola, which distributes Minute Maid and Simply Orange, reported finding the fungicide both in its own products and other brands of juice. Most orange juice sold by Coke and other companies contains a blend of juice from different sources including Brazil, where carbendazim is used to prevent a fungus which causes black spots on orange tree leaves. The detained shipments were from Brazil and Canada, which purchases orange juice products from other countries and then exports it to the US.
Tests revealed the seized juice shipments had concentrations of the fungicide at levels ranging from 10 parts per billion to 52 parts per billion. The FDA says the juice is safe to drink but since carbendazim is not approved for use in this country, any juice containing small amounts of it must be detained. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently raised the limit of radiation exposure allowed in the USA following the Fukushima disaster,there are no health risks associated with carbendazim at concentration levels of up to 80 parts per billion.
The Juice Products Association, predictably,said the FDA should relax its standards for products containing the fungicide, particularly with regard to juice concentrate.
We need fewer toxins, not lower standards
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-rare instance of the FDA having high standards and it seems to be an anomaly rather than a trend on the part of the agency toward stricter regulations of chemicals in the food supply. Trace amounts of carbendazim are permitted in other types of food such as grains, nuts and some non-citrus fruits, including apricots, bananas, cherries, grapes, peaches and pears. Carbendazim is also approved in the US for use on apples and small amounts are present in apple juice.
The problem with the parts per billion measurements of toxins and industry assurances of relative safety is that they fail to take into account the long-term health effects of drinking "safe" levels of poisons over the course of a lifetime. They also fail to consider the potential for harmful interactions between multiple toxins unleashed on people as we are bombarded with poisons in our air and our water on a daily basis. It is a known fact that 90% of all fungicides are carcinogens, so why should we allow more of them into our food supply? The arguments to lower our standards revolve around bigger profits for Big Food. At a point in the history of the planet where our pollinators such as bees and bats, are exhibiting evidence of severe illness or even population decimation, isn't it time to look at the warning of these creatures who are in effect the canaries in the coal mine of the toxic synthetic chemical world we have created?
Perhaps the rejection of Brazilian fungicide-tainted orange juice will prompt growers in that country to move toward organic methods. In the meantime, NaturalNews urges readers to continue to drink orange juice from organic suppliers in the US. The Vitamin C delivered by this beverage should not carry a toxic toll.