Thursday, January 12, 2012

Orange You Glad Someone's Protecting You

Republicans are sure to be furious over the FDA temporarily halting shipments and checking all orange juice imports while they are checked for a harmful fungicide banned in the US.  The big culprit:  Brazil.

Brazilian growers expressed frustration with the testing.

“Our main concern is how this move will affect consumption and image of our product,” said Flavio Viegas, head of Brazil’s citrus growers association, known as Associtrus, which represents about 1,300 orange growers.

“Carbendazim is widely accepted for other crops, including apples, which are consumed fresh,” he said by phone from Bebedouro, Brazil. “I don’t understand what’s the deal with frozen concentrated orange juice.”

Carbendazim is used to combat black spot, a fungus that doesn’t affect taste or crop yields, but makes fruits less appealing to consumers, Brazil’s grower-run Fund for Citrus Plant Protection, known as Fundecitrus, said today in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

The FDA is also screening juice that’s already for sale in the U.S. market, said Siobhan DeLancey, an agency spokeswoman. That’s because products often contain a mixture of imported and domestic juice. Preliminary tests on three Canadian samples were negative, she said. 

But the tests, which turned up positive results on Tuesday, are already causing concern among consumers...and of course jacking up prices, up a whopping 25% since January 1.  Of course, I'm waiting for the GOP to tell us how we should be happy having a big glass of fungicide with our breakfast in the morning.  Should play well in Florida, right?

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