F.D.A. to test orange juice for carbendazim

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — Following the detection of low levels of the fungicide carbendazim by a juice company in orange juice, the Food and Drug Association has decided to begin testing for the fungicide.

In a Jan. 9 letter from Nega Beru, director of the office of food safety within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to Carol Freysinger, executive director of the Juice Products Association, Dr. Beru said the levels of carbendazim detected did not raise safety concerns based on an Environmental Protection Agency risk assessment. The F.D.A. is, however, conducting its own testing of orange juice for carbendazim and if the agency detects levels it believes pose a public health risk it will alert the public and take the necessary action to ensure the product is removed from the market.

Carbendazim is not approved for use in the United States. In her letter, Dr. Beru said that the F.D.A. will also sample import shipments of orange juice and deny entry to shipments that test positive the fungicide.

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