Fungicides in Orange Juice

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You may have heard about the recent discovery of a fungicide, carbendazim, in imported orange juice from Brazil. The fungicide is no longer approved for use on orange crops in the U.S., but its use is widespread in other parts of the world, and even on other crops in the U.S. (like grains, nuts, and some fruits).

Preliminary tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found levels of the fungicide in orange juice low enough to not raise safety concerns. But if this fungicide is no longer approved for use on citrus in the U.S., it’s probably for a good reason.

The amount of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and who-knows-what-icides in conventionally grown food is currently the subject of a mass science experiment—on all of us! Because of the many different chemicals, and the complexity of their interactions and difficulty of studying the harmful effects of these toxins on humans, we are placed in a unique position, historically. We know these chemicals are harmful, yet they are everywhere.

If you drink orange juice, consider buying organic. It’s the best way to reduce the amount of chemicals you consume. The more we support organic foods, the more available they will become.