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U.S. testing imported orange juice

Jan. 29, 2012 at 1:19 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Federal regulators say they have seized a large portion of the orange juice imported into the United States this month because of trace amounts of a fungicide.

The Food and Drug Administration says the orange juice is safe to drink but that the fungicide detected, carbendazim, is not allowed in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Carbendazim is used against a fungus that blackens the leaves of orange trees.

About 14 percent of the orange juice that arrive from other countries in January has been seized, the newspaper said.

"We don't feel that this is a safety problem," FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey told the Times. "This is more of a regulatory issue.

"We don't have any plans to call for a wholesale recall of orange juice."

Coca-Cola Co. said it had discovered the fungicide in its Minute Maid and Simply Orange juices and in competitors' juices, and reported its findings to the FDA. Coca-Cola spokesman Dan Schafer said Friday the company's products "are safe and wholesome, and consumers can enjoy them with confidence."

The Times said six of the seized shipments were from Canada and five from Brazil. The amount seized wasn't known.

The seized products will be held for up to 90 days, the agency said. The shippers can either take the products back or destroy them, DeLancey said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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