F.D.A. halts imported orange juice shipments

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has halted shipments of imported orange juice from all over the world as the result of positive testing of the fungicide carbendazim.

The F.D.A. has linked the fungicide with the 2011 orange crop from Brazil, but the agency said it will examine all container shipments that arrive in the United States. Shipments that test negative will be allowed to enter the country.

The fungicide is used legally in Brazil to combat black spot, a type of mold that grows on orange trees. But the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved carbendazim for use on oranges or established a tolerance or exemption from the need of tolerance for the fungicide in the United States.

According to the Juice Products Association, the E.P.A. has determined levels of 80 parts per billion in orange juice do not raise safety concerns, but the F.D.A. is refusing entry of imported orange juice that tests at 10 parts per billion or higher. Overall, the association said there is no reason consumers should be concerned.

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