The rule is clear: fungicides are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, particularly to prevent fungus damage for oranges.
Yet according to the FDA, this month alone, 14 percent of the orange juice imported into the United States has been detained for having trace amounts of fungicides, specifically carbendazim, which is used in other countries. The seized shipments originated from Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belize, Honduras, Lebanon and Turkey. Coca-Cola, which distributes orange juice under the Minute Maid and Simply Orange brands, said it found the fungicide in its juice and rival juices, and reported the findings to the FDA.
The United States imported $438 million worth of orange juice in 2010.
The FDA said it was currently testing domestically grown orange juice for any traces of fungicides and those results are expected to be made public this coming week.