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Orange juice being tested for a fungicide by FDA

Orange juice with fungicide?  The FDA is stepping up testing of orange juice after a juice company alerted the agency to low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in orange juice brands.

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Orange juice contamination? Oranges are seen at a market in Sao Paulo, Wednesday. According to the FDA, a US juice producer had detected low levels of carbendazim in orange juice concentrate imported from Brazil, the top grower accounting for more than 10 percent of the US supply.

Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

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The Food and Drug Administration says it will step up testing for a fungicide that has been found in low levels in orange juice.

FDA officials said they aren't concerned about the safety of the juice but will increase testing to make sure the contamination isn't a problem.

In a letter to the juice industry Monday, the agency said that an unnamed juice company contacted FDA in late December and said it had detected low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in the company's own orange juice and also in its competitors' juice.

Fungicides are used to control fungi or fungal spores in agriculture.

Orange juice futures fell 9.5 percent, Wednesday, as investors sold contracts while they wait for more details about government testing for the fungicide.

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