Orange Juice Import Ban: FDA Halts Shipments Over Fungicide ScareJan-12-2012
The FDA announced Wednesday that it would temporarily halt all imports of foreign orange juice. The blockade was prompted by fears that some foreign orange juice -- especially juice imported from Brazil -- contains traces of carbendazim, a fungicide banned in the United States. The import ban is set to last until the FDA has finished conducting a thorough investigation of fungicide levels.
The news of the OJ import ban comes just one day after it was revealed that the FDA would ramp up testing for the illegal additive.
Once that news broke, though, many in the orange juice market began to fear that an import ban was at hand. As a result, prices for OJ futures briefly spiked to an all-time high of $2.07 per pound. Today's trading brought that price down to $1.88 as speculators began to think that fears of FDA action had been overblown. Today's late-breaking news of the import ban likely portends another heavy day of trading tomorrow.
Carbendazim was banned relatively recently; it was used to kill black fungus on Florida oranges as recently as 2008. It is still legal in Brazil, however, and the EU allows foods to contain up to 200 parts per billion of the fungicide. But studies linking carbendazim to increased rates of cancers and infertility prompted an outright ban of its use on American oranges.
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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM
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