Monday, January 16, 2012


Both PepsiCo which makes Tropicana orange juice, and Coca Cola Co. which makes Minute Maid orange juice have found traces of that nasty fungicide, Carbendazim, in their juice. Bad news for the two companies (their stock price suffered) but good news for Florida orange growers.

As we know by now, Carbendazim is used in Brazil to combat black spot and blossom blight on orange trees, and the inclusion of orange juice from Brazil in Tropicana and Minute Maid products was the cause of last week's problems (see previous posts). The use of this fungicide has not been permitted on U.S. oranges in recent years. But reportedly trace amounts of it are allowed in some 31 other foods such as non-citrus fruits, nuts and grains.

The amounts of the fungicide found in the orange juices were not high - but high enough to upset the FDA, and to upset a lot of Americans who drink orange juice every day. And it's not just Americans. I have heard from people in other countries are also concerned. After all, these are global corporations.

The end result: a return to Florida oranges. PepsiCo Inc announced today that it is returning to using only Florida oranges in its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juices. (It had used 100% Florida oranges until 2007). The company claims it made this decision several months ago, even before low levels of this fungicide were found in oranges from Brazil - and, in its juice. The transition is already under way and will be completed by the end of the month.

I think I'll buy PepsiCo stock when the market opens tomorrow. Or, maybe I shouldn't - a California woman is already suing her Tropicana for not being pure enough!

To your good health,


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