Stories about the toxicity of our food supply just keep rolling in.
As I wrote about recently, numerous samples of conventional apple juice were found to have unsafe and illegal levels of arsenic. And now orange juice is having its own set of problems.
Coca-Cola, which makes Minute Maid and Simply Orange, reported to the FDA on December 28th that some Brazilian growers of oranges that are used in the company’s juices and those of its competitors had sprayed their trees with carbendazim, a toxic fungicide.
As a result, the FDA has temporarily halted (PDF) all shipments of imported orange juice while it conducts field tests. Products already on supermarket shelves that have “low levels” of carbendazim (80 parts per billion) may still be sold.
According to CitrusBR, an export trade association, Brazil produces approximately 1/6th of all orange juice consumed in the U.S.
While it is legal in Brazil, carbendazim is not approved for use on oranges in the U.S., as per the Environmental Protection Agency.
Studies have shown that high levels of carbendazim cause fertility problems in laboratory animals. Carbendazim has been banned on fruit trees in Australia and is banned in Europe.
A few things.
1) While it was very noble of Coca-Cola to self-report these findings, why didn’t the FDA catch any of this?
Well, as it turns out, the agency doesn’t test for carbendazim because it has never been deemed a risk to human health, according to Bloomberg.
2) This is just another reason why people need to be buying organic.
Are even low levels” of carbendazim allowed on organic oranges? No.
Under USDA organic regulations, no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are permitted.
3) I am just not buying into these claims that low levels of toxic chemicals are not harmful to human health.
The issue is that humans, quite often babies and young children, are repeatedly and continuously exposed to these low levels. And these low levels accumulate in the body and become high levels.
Hence, that is where there the real problem lies.
4) As consumers, we have to take responsibility for our health because it is clear that our government is incapable of doing it for us.
And the safest, most nutritious food that we can be buying for our families is organic.
Please forward this post to anyone that may be buying conventional orange juice.