January 18, 2012
FDA is investigating reports that carbendazim, a fungicide, is present at low levels in some orange juice products. These products are a blend of domestic orange juice and imported orange juice from Brazil.
The levels of carbendazim reported appear to be the result of the application of a pesticide/fungicide on orange trees. The fungicide is approved for such use in Brazil and several other countries, but not the United States.
Carbendazim in orange juice is an unlawful pesticide chemical residue under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. FDA has been coordinating closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency responsible for the evaluation of the safety of the pesticide residue.
Based on EPA’s conclusions from its preliminary risk assessment, consumption of orange juice with carbendazim at the low levels that have been reported does not raise safety concerns.
Actions taken by FDA:
- FDA has sent a letter to the Juice Products Association stating that it does not intend to take action to remove from domestic commerce orange juice containing the reported low levels of carbendazim.
- FDA is conducting its own testing of orange juice for carbendazim. If the agency identifies orange juice with carbendazim at levels that present a public health risk, it will alert the public and take the necessary action to ensure that the product is removed from the market.
- To ensure the continued safety of orange juice, FDA is also sampling import shipments of orange juice and will deny entry to shipments that test positive for carbendazim.
- Sampling Update - June 14, 2012
- FDA Chart on Sampling of Import Orange Juice/Juice Products for Carbendazim June 14, 2012
- FDA Chart on Sampling of Domestic Orange Juice/Juice Products for Carbendazim February 2, 2012
- Questions & Answers: Carbendazim and Orange Juice Products January 18, 2012
- Blog: Why Your Orange Juice is Safe January 19, 2012
- Import Alert 99-087
- EPA: Risk Assessment for Safety of Orange Juice Containing Fungicide Carbendazim
- FDA Response to a Request Submitted by the Brazilian Citrus Exporters Association