Brazil’s Orange Juice Industry Removed Carbendazim From Its List Of Recommended Fungicides For Producers
In a sign that the world’s largest orange juice industry was adjusting to accommodate a…
Brazil's orange juice industry removed carbendazim from its list of recommended fungicides for producers, after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration blocked the entry of several shipments of juice
that tested positive for it.
In a sign that the world's largest orange juice industry was adjusting to accommodate a recent FDA rejection of carbendazim, the industry-funded citrus research foundation Fundecitrus, which provides technical support for Brazilian growers, struck the chemical from its list of recommended crop treatments.
"The list doesn't have the force of law. That would need to come from a ban of carbendazim from the Agriculture Department of Sao Paulo (state) or from the Agriculture Ministry," Michele Carvalho, spokeswoman for Fundecitrus, said.
U.S. inspectors blocked another 20 shipments of orange juice last week from entering the country because they contained traces of the banned fungicide. Eleven of those shipments were from Brazil.
"For the moment there is nothing like this (a ban of carbendazim) being considered in any way. There is no plan to prohibit it," a representative at the agriculture ministry said.
Carvalho said producers pay attention to Fundecitrus' list and are expected to follow its recommendations as they are aware of the recent problems of Brazilian juice entering the United States.
She did not say whether the local crushing industry would refuse third party orange fruit that tested positive for the chemical.
Brazil's orange juice industry is dominated by three or four companies, which rely on independent growers for about two thirds of their fruit.
Brazil's Rural Society, a leading local farm lobby group, said on Monday, "Immediately suspend the use of Carbendazim!" in an email circulated to its members and the citrus industry.
"It should be emphasized that, although the application of the referred products (carbendazim and thiophanate-methyl) are permitted by Brazilian regulations, a ban on their use in orchards is crucial at this time," the Rural Society said.
Futures prices for frozen concentrated orange juice have seesawed over uncertainty surrounding the possibility that the FDA would ban Brazilian orange juice.
Brazil is the premiere FCOJ exporter and the United States is the largest importer. Brazilian juice accounts for one-tenth of U.S. consumption.
FDA said there was no change in its standard for residues in orange juice. It bars entry of shipments with 10 parts per billion or higher of carbendazim.