Coke fungicide: Carbendazim found in orange juice supply

Makers of Minute Maid and Simply Orange along with Pepsi's Tropicana and Dole affected by Brazilian oranges

Coca Cola came forward on Wednesday, as the company that reported the presence of fungicide in its competitors and its own orange juice.

Imports on oranges have been halted and orange futures have plummeted after beverage maker Coke reported the presence of a banned fungicide in its orange juice. Photo via Wiki Commons.

The tainted oranges reportedly came from Brazil, where Coke says growers there sprayed orange trees with the unapproved fungicide. While the juice industry is calling the product safe, the FDA has stopped all imports of oranges and FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said the agency “will take steps for its removal from the market,” if over 80 parts per billion is detected.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration, an unidentified beverage company found the chemical in “its and competitors’ currently marketed finished products.” The FDA is in the process of testing orange imports, which can take 5 to 10 business days. “We’ve got 30 more samples pending, and those come from Canada, Mexico and Brazil,” DeLancey said, adding, “I’m not sure what is where in the pipeline.” The agency is also testing orange juice already on store shelves.

Carbendazim is used on cereal grains and fruit to kill molds, mildew and blight. According to, carbendazim was banned around 2008 due to the fungicide being linked to cancer and infertility. In one study the chemical was shown to “destroy the testicles of lab animals.”

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