- (Source: US Library of Congress)
The Food and Drug Administration has been warned of non U.S. approved fungicide being used on Brazilian orange trees by the Coca Cola Co. on Thursday.
A report from the Associated Press said the FDA detected low levels of the fungicide in an unnamed juice company on Monday after a serious of tests conducted on their own products and a few competitors came back positive.
Coca-Cola owns two orange juice manufacturers, Minute Maid and Simply Orange, and get most of their juice blends from Brazil.
A representative from Coca-Cola, Dan Schafer, told Associated Press, "This is an industry issue that affects every company that produces products in the U.S. using orange juice from Brazil," but would not say if any of his company's product were contaminated.
The FDA said the low levels of the fungicide are not really a safety risk because of how low the level is.
Coca-Cola found levels of 35 parts per billion of the chemical according to the FDA, which is low compared to the maximum being 200 parts per billion.
There are no real risks of the contaminate until it reaches over 80 parts per billion according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
"The residues we have seen reported at 35 parts per billion are thousands of times below the concentration that would raise safety concerns," said Betsaida Alcantara, a spokesperson for EPA.
The contaminant at question is, carbendazim. The chemical has been cleared in Brazil, but its use on citrus has not been cleared in the U.S. Carbendazim is used to fight mold in orange trees.
"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," Nega Buru, an FDA official said.