Orange juice is safe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as US juice producers assure consumers there is no need for concern. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees, declaring that the trace level of the fungicide that was found in some imported juice products pose no risk to public health.
Juice producers are committed to safety and quality and they take many steps before, during and after processing to assure the safety of the juice they make. In fact, it was during quality control checks that a juice producer detected trace levels of a fungicide used on oranges from Brazil, where some orange juice in the US comes from. The juice company alerted the FDA, the agency responsible for regulating food safety in the US. As precaution, the FDA is testing all incoming imported orange juice at the ports for the presence of carbendazim and is also testing juice already at processing plants in America. Juice that is found to exceed guidelines established by the FDA cannot be sold in America.
Carbendazim is a component of a fungicide that is registered with the EPA for use on food crops in the US. While not currently registered for use on citrus in the US, a fungicide with carbendazim was registered for use on oranges in the US from 2002 through 2008, but according to the manufacturer, for economic reasons they chose not to renew the registration. It is important to note that trace amounts of a crop protection product are not necessarily cause for concern because regulatory bodies establish allowable levels that are judged to be safe after a rigorous review and risk assessment process. EPA has stated that the levels detected in orange juice pose no health risk.
There is no need for consumers to worry about the safety of the juice. The food supply in the US is one of the most tightly monitored and regulated in the world and juice producers work hand in hand with regulatory authorities to ensure safety. Consumers can be assured that juice producers and regulatory authorities are committed to maintaining the safety of juice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is orange juice safe?
Yes. Orange juice is safe and consumers have no need for concern. As a precautionary measure, the FDA is testing all incoming shipments of imported orange juice for the presence of carbendazim. The FDA is doing so because a US juice company alerted the agency that the company’s own testing had detected trace levels of carbendazim in orange juice from Brazil, and FDA now wants to determine that levels in imported orange juice do not exceed these trace levels.