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FDA finds fungicide in Brazil, Canada orange juice

By Shasta Darlington, CNN
updated 3:44 PM EST, Fri January 27, 2012
Earlier this month, the FDA temporarily halted all orange juice imports.
Earlier this month, the FDA temporarily halted all orange juice imports.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. government detains orange juice sent from Brazil, Canada
  • Agency has said products posed no health risks
  • FDA does not allow traces of unapproved fungicide

Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had detained shipments of orange juice and concentrate from Brazil and Canada after finding traces of the unapproved fungicide carbendazim.

The agency discovered the substance in 11 shipments, six from Canada and five from Brazil. The FDA said it had detained nine of the shipments because companies behind two of the shipments withdrew their import request.

The fungicide is allowed in limited quantities across Europe and Latin America, but the United States banned its use in 2009. The levels found by the FDA are below international maximum levels.

Earlier this month, the FDA temporarily halted all orange juice imports after low levels of carbandazim were found in some juice shipments from Brazil.

It later declared that the juice posed no health risks, but that it would analyze all incoming shipments for even trace elements of the banned fungicide.

The controversy has sent orange juice prices skyrocketing. Brazil is the world's biggest exporter, accounting for 85% of total global exports.

The United States is its second-biggest market after Europe.

The FDA has collected samples from 80 shipments of orange juice. So far, 29 have tested negative for carbendazim.

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