Make Our Food Safe
01/13/2012

"Tainted juice episode calls FDA capabilities into question"

USA Today | Elizabeth Weise

"The Food and Drug Administration is holding all orange juice being imported into theUnited States at the border while it tests for contamination with a fungus-killing chemical. The episode is raising questions about the ability of the overstretched agency to protect the safety of the U.S. food system, critics say.

The FDA began the testing for the fungicide on Jan. 4. Three preliminary tests have all come back negative for the chemical, FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said. Assuming final tests likewise are negative, the product will be allowed to enter the country.

The hold came about when Coca-Cola Co. found carbendazim in routine tests of the orange juice that itsMinute Maid subsidiary had imported from Brazil. It then tested competitors' products and found fungicide residue there as well. The company 'was a good corporate citizen' and alerted the FDA in late December, DeLancey said."

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