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FDA Bans Imported Orange Juice

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NEW YORK (CBS) - The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday halted all orange juice imports to the U.S. due to safety concerns.

The move came after Coca-Cola — which makes Simply Orange and Minute Maid — alerted officials it had detected traces of an illegal fungicide in some of its juice as well as that of its competitors. Coca-Cola isn’t saying which brands were affected.

The FDA says there’s no risk to consumers, as the amounts of fungicide that have been detected are miniscule. But the agency will test all orange juice imports and plans to destroy any juice that has the fungicide in it. The process could take days or even weeks.

Why go to the enormous expense and trouble to test every shipment if the drinks are safe?

The FDA felt that legally, once it heard Coca-Cola’s concerns, they had no choice but to start testing all of it — even though no health concerns are seen.

Consumer groups tell CBS News that while the FDA is probably right, the extent of any risk remains to be seen until all of the shipments are tested.

Once this testing phase is over, however, it’s unlikely they’re going to have the resources to do this testing on a permanent basis.

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