FOOD CHEMICALS: PESTICIDE IN ORANGE JUICE?
The U.S. temporarily halted shipments of imported orange juice from all countries and said it would destroy or ban products containing even low levels of a banned fungicide.
The imports will be held while they’re tested and may be sold if levels are below trace amounts, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Though the chemical, carbendazim, is used on crops in many countries, it isn’t approved for use on oranges in the U.S. The agency’s announcement spurred calls by a consumer group for the FDA to set standards on chemicals for testing.
“We’re glad they will be testing for this fungicide, but we would like there to be standards they could enforce for residue levels in food — for this chemical and others, like arsenic or lead that have been found in other juices,” said Patty Lovera, assistant director of the Washington-based Food and Water Watch, an advocacy group that works to ensure safe, accessible and sustainable food.
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