January 11, 2012 by staff · Comments Off
Orange Juice Recall, Fears that the US might ban imports of orange juice from Brazil drove orange juice futures to an all-time high on Tuesday as health regulators began testing all incoming shipments for traces of an illegal fungicide called carbendazim.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, a US juice producer had detected low levels of carbendazim in orange juice concentrate imported from Brazil, the top grower accounting for more than 10% of the US supply.
The pesticide is banned in US citrus but it is used on orange trees in Brazil to fight mould. The FDA said low levels of carbendazim were not dangerous and the agency had no plans for a recall, but it would stop any shipments of orange juice at the border that tested positive for the fungicide.
Orange juice futures jumped almost 11% to an all-time high on the news, which was announced by the FDA in a letter to the Juice Products Association on Monday. The orange juice market is particularly prone to volatility because of its tiny size compared to oil and other major commodities.
It was not immediately clear whether there would be a related increase in orange juice prices for consumers, as that would depend on how long futures stay high and whether this results in a shortage of orange juice shipments into the United States.
Brands such as Tropicana, from PepsiCo , and Minute Maid, from Coca-Cola, may use a mix of juices sourced from Brazil and the United States.
“Obviously food safety issues are probably going to play a bigger and bigger role in driving food or commodity prices in the future,” said Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association in central Florida.