Despite all the safety measures that authorities and companies take to ensure food and beverages are good for human consumption, there are times when some of the products we use on a daily basis became a health hazard. One of the recent cases that brought that to the attention is Coke’s finding of Carbenzadim – based fungicide in Orange Juice.
Coca Cola Co. released a press statement on Thursday acknowledging it was the one that informed federal regulators about the problem. The company said it has found low levels of fungicide both in its own orange juice and in competitors’ products. Coca Cola is the producer of Minute Maid and the Simply Orange brands of orange juice.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that an unnamed company made a notice regarding the fungicide. After looking into the matter, both the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that orange juice is safe to drink since the levels of fungicide found are insignificant.
EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara said: “The residues we have seen reported at 35 parts per billion are thousands of times below the concentration that would raise safety concerns”.
According to the FDA investigation as well as those of Coke, the levels of fungicide found in Coca Cola products were up to 35 parts per billion, which is below the European Union’s maximum residue level of 200 parts per billion.
Until now, the authorities haven’t released information regarding other companies with products that tested positive for the fungicide. Also, there have been no recalls of products already in stores.
The substance, called Carbendazim, isn’t forbidden from use on citrus throughout the United States. However, the fungicide is used in Brazil to combat mold on orange trees and the countries is one of the largest orange juice exporters to the United States.
The FDA official Nega Bery asked players in the industry to ensure their suppliers do not use the fungicide. “If the agency identifies orange juice with carbendazim at levels that present a public health risk, it will alert the public and take necessary action to ensure that the product is removed from the market” he said.