Coke fungicide: Coca-Cola alerted by US FDA after fungicide was found in orange juice

By on Jan 13, 2012 in Food, Health, Lifestyle, Science, United States Comments

Coca-Cola has acknowledged the alert issued to them by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that fungicide was found in their orange juice product, as well as in their competitors’ product.

Minute Maid and Simply Orange, orange
juice products of Coca-Cola

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According to Wall Street Journal on Friday, January 13, 2012, Coke said on Thursday that their company was informed by a “relatively small number” of consumers, asking about the fungicide issue.

As noted in the report, Coca-Cola said last month that the FDA found the fungicide in Coke‘s orange juice as well as competitors’ products, with the company reassuring the public that their products are safe.

“Consumers are satisfied when they hear us say there is no safety issue with the Brazilian juice we use in our products and that we’re working closely with and taking guidance from the FDA,” Dan Schafer, a Coke spokesman, told the paper.

Apparently, the statement of Coca-cola was prompted by the letter issued by FDA to Juice Products Association (JPA) last December, citing reports of the fungicide carbendazim findings in orange juice.

“On Dec. 28, 2011, FDA learned from a juice company that it had detected low levels of carbendazim (in the low parts per billion range) in its and competitors’ currently marketed finished products, and in certain orange juice concentrate that is not on the market.” A statement reads on the letter addressed to JPA director Carol Freysinger.

“Industry reports indicate that carbendazim is present in orange juice products from the 2011 crop from Brazil, where the fungicide is used legally under Brazilian law to combat black spot, a type of mold that grows on orange trees.” FDA added, with a copy of the letter was posted at the agency’s official website.

Fungicides are being noted to be chemical compounds or biological organisms that are being used to inhibit fungi or fungal spores that can cause serious damage in agriculture, and arbendazim is not being approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be used as fungicide on oranges.

Nevertheless, FDA stressed out that it has no plans to pull out the local commerce orange juice containing the reported low levels of carbendazim, but is conducting its own testing of orange juice for carbendazim.

However, the agency noted that once they prove that it will pose risk to health to consumers, it will alert the public and make necessary action to ensure that the product will be removed from the market.

On the other hand, the EPA said on the letter that they have conducted a preliminary risk assessment based on the FDA reports and concluded that orange juice with carbendazim at the low levels that have been reported is still safe for consumption.

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