Coca-Cola Reveals It Blew The Whistle On Orange Juice Contamination

When word broke that the Food and Drug Administration had halted orange juice shipments to check for a potentially harmful fungicide, the government was mum on which company found evidence that triggered the reaction. Now Coca-Cola solved the mystery by confirming it was responsible for spotting carbendazim — an illegal fungicide believed to cause infertility — in a shipment from Brazil.
According to the AP, Coca-Cola spotted carbendazim not only in its own drinks, but those of a competitor. Testing revealed of 35 parts per billion of the fungicide in a Coke product, a level that the Environmental Protection Agency poses no significant threat.

In its testing process that is expected to last between 5 and 10 business days, the FDA is taking no chances. It will turn away or destroy products that show any trace of the fungicide. So far, none of its tests have spotted a trace of the substance, which is disappointing news for anyone who was hoping to score some bonus contraception in their orange juice or soda.

Coca-Cola says it told gov’t about fungicide in OJ [AP via MSNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Red_Eye says:

    Mountain Dew uses OJ I believe, I wonder if this is the ‘competitor product’

    • scoosdad says:

      No, if you read the linked article, we’re talking strictly orange juice here. Coca-Cola makes Minute Maid and Simply Orange, and they probably routinely test samples of other manufacturer’s orange juices for various reasons.

      • DariusC says:

        Various reasons including sharing publicity for drinks contaminated with fungicide so they don’t look like the only ones without proper oversight in their production factories.

  2. Grogey says:

    Well better safe then sorry.

    the other question is then if its not coming from the imported OJ, where is it coming form then.

    • Brontide says:

      OJ can be stored “fresh” for up to a year in huge vats that have been de-oxygenated. That is presuming it hasn’t already been concentrated, after which the storage life could be longer.

      • Grogey says:

        From what I understand is doing that sort of storage actually hurts the flavor some. Sorry no references as I don’t remember where I read it.

        I probably read it here… lol

        • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

          It does hurt the flavor. And the color, too. So they add a packet of color and flavor back to the juice before packaging it. Somehow this is OK to call “natural”.

  3. The Porkchop Express says:

    I was going to write the consumerist email to see if there was any follow up on the apple juices that had been tested by consumer reports and found to have lead and arsenic in them.

    Guess I may as well ask here for now.

    Did the companies ever come out and say/do anything about it?

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yeah…the alt-med types were all like “dude, it’s like infinity% bigger than the daily FDA recommended dosage of arsenic and lead, which is awesome because everything is awesome when taken in moronically huge doses!”

      And then the homeopathic types were like “you can’t take it out you idiots, because as we’ve CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED the liquid will “remember” that the lead and arsenic was in there, and actually concentrate and amplify the effect the more you take out…if you start taking it out YOU’LL KILL US ALL!”

      And then the national stockpile of f%cks to give ran dry.

  4. elangomatt says:

    “a level that the Environmental Protection Agency poses no significant threat.”

    Proofreading FTW, then again this is Consumerist.

    I’m sure that some people out there say that the EPA does pose a significant threat

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      I’m pretty sure the EPA is a threat at every level.

      …I tried to come up with a way to work in an “all your bases are belong to us now” into that, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      As a person whose hobby is emptying 55 gal drums of chemical slurries into water supplies, I consider the EPA to be a dire threat.

  5. Cor Aquilonis says:

    Hah! Nice try, but I only drink water.

    Of course, next time the Joker poisons the reservoir, I’m in trouble…

  6. Cicadymn says:

    So…props to Coca-Cola for calling out a problem with their own product and competitors? I’m reading that right, right?

  7. Kuri says:

    Ok, I almost was of the thought that they just wanted to make it harder on their competitors, but finding it in their own drinks, yeesh.

  8. dognose says:

    Nice, “found to destroy the testicles of laboratory animals”

  9. Wes_Sabi says:

    Carbendazim was found at 35 ppb in their juice. However, the tolerance for the same fungicide in U.S. grown cherries is 20 ppm, which is 20,000 ppb. In wheat grown in the U.S, the tolerance level is 0.1 ppm which is 100 ppb.

    Source: CFR Title 40, Part 180.371 Thiophanate-methyl; tolerances for residues.

  10. gman863 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Florida’s Natural brand revamps it’s “juice from the USA only” ad campaign to “no fungicides from evil Third World countries”.

  11. BradenR says:

    If the only side effect was infertility, then add more.

  12. FrugalFreak says:

    ship more of it here. what they don’t know will save Us all.