Atlanta, GA—After Coca-Cola Company alerted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early January to the presence of the toxic substance carbendazim in its orange juice imported from Brazil, FDA began closely examining imports of orange juice from all over the world.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s risk assessment found no safety concerns over this substance, at least in the low-levels that have been reported in orange juice brands like Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid.

Carbendazim, which has been linked to liver tumors in animals, is a fungicide used to prevent black spot, a fungus that affects the cosmetic appeal of fruits. FDA’s follow-up tests on orange juice from countries like Canada, Mexico and Belize found no trace of the toxin or found it only in levels that were deemed safe; other import samples along with domestic samples were still being analyzed as of press time.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2012