US Blocks Import of Orange Due To Pesticide Scandal

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Around nine shipments of orange juices were seized from Canada and Brazil, by the US authorities, when they found that the content of orange juice tested positive for prohibited fungicide. The Food and Drug Department announced that the contents of orange juice tested positive for unlawful pesticide carbendazim, which is illegal to be used for orange juices in United states but is has permission in Brazil and other countries. After finding the contamination in the beginning of this month, the FDA is now examining all the samples of orange juice shipments which come from various countries. The regulatory agency submits that pesticide was found to be present at 10 parts per billion or 11 shipments and two of such firms have decided that they will not further import into US.

The other nine shipments were caught at the border. Tests were conducted for about 80 shipments of which five were from Brazil and six of them were from Canada. A preliminary test was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency which concluded that if you consume orange juice with low levels of carbendazium, “it does not raise safety concern”. President of National Association of Citrus Juices Exporters asked FDA to consider the concentrated juice which is exported by Brazil and to give acceptance to the level of pesticide since all juices in Brazil have the trace of this pesticide below 60 parts.

In Europe, no one is much concerned about this pesticide and a most important part of the international market is apparent that this issue is legal, having to do with the understanding of the regulations in the US. He also noted and stressed that this pesticide was much common in Brazil and was considered as a possible substitute by the juice manufacturers. He also laid emphasis that this pesticide has no harmful effect on the health of human beings. The reports have shown that US receives 13% of Brazil’s Juice export. Canada further puts forward that the carbendazim is probable to come from the country from where it imports oranges, since Canada does not grow oranges. There is however no indication in either US or the Canada that the level analyzed can have any risk to the humans.

According to the World Health Organization, “pesticide poisoning is a serious health problem that disproportionately affects infants and children. Pesticides are designed to kill, reduce or repel insects, weeds, rodents, fungi, and other organisms that can threaten public health and national economies. However, when improperly used or stored, these chemical agents can also harm humans. Key risks are cancer, birth defects, and damage to the nervous system and the functioning of the endocrine system.”




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