Pesticides In Your Orange Juice… Do You Know Where Your Food is Coming From? : Digest This! Healthy News You Should Know

Wednesday Jan 11 | BY |
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oranges pesticide carbendazim
Amazing… oranges can grow without fungicides when they’re healthy.

A news report today, reveals that a U.S. orange juice producer has found a pesticide banned for food use in America in their orange juice.

Here’s an excerpt from Reuters…

According to the Food and Drug Administration, a U.S. 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 U.S. supply.

The pesticide is banned in U.S. citrus but it is used on orange trees in Brazil to fight mold. The FDA said low levels of carbendazim were not dangerous and the agency had no plans for a recall, but it would stop any shipments of orange juice at the border that tested positive for the fungicide.

Here are my thoughts on this shocking finding…

The Good: The good is that U.S. orange producers and the FDA care about this pesticide being in the orange juice. It’s reassuring to a certain degree that someone is testing something.

The Bad: Simply, children, adults and anyone else who is drinking orange juice from oranges grown in Brazil (and likely other countries) on a regular basis are being exposed to carbendazim.

Here are some of the health risks associated with this chemical — even though the FDA says it’s safe AND they’re stopping shipments at the border that test positive. (Remember the saying “actions speak louder than words?”)

Carbendazim is currently only approved in the United States as a fungicide to treat non-food items such as paints, textiles and ornamental trees. But another legal fungicide, thiophanate-methyl, can break down into carbendazim after it is applied.

Kathryn Gilje, co-director of the Pesticide Action Network, said the fungicide is a possible carcinogen and can disrupt human hormone systems even at low levels of exposure.

Michael Hansen, chief scientist at Consumers Union, said carbendazim was also an aneugen, meaning it interferes with cell division and can cause mutations. Australia banned the substance for most uses in 2010. The World Health Organization has said risks are high only if large doses are ingested.

What This Means: It means we — as always — need to trust local providers for our food. The larger the company gets the more likely it will get sloppy and not have you or your health written into their game plan.

Sourcing foods is tricky. We’ve done it and have been quite diligent about getting real and tangible information about the product — including tests or even visiting the source. There does come a time when you have to trust someone you know who’s providing the information and doing the testing as well.

But these are real and direct relationships that have been formed by a farmer and a retailer (us) — not the same type that come from directives sent down from corporate offices. Directives that are formulated with profit and cost cutting in mind.

I’m not against profit, but I am against negligence and the general non-caring attitude of many of today’s food (and other) businesses. The food industry has gotten too big to be able to be careful and conscious about the food they’re growing. If there’s mold on the oranges, then the mold needs to be removed at any cost — it’s causing loss of revenue.

When you have a looming public financial responsibility to shareholders as well as an internal responsibility to crack whatever operating nut you have every month, the needs and wants of the consumer are pushed aside.

In a personal example, we’ve recently reworked our customer support processes and challenged our team to get back to everyone within 24 hours because this was a system that was lacking in the past.

It costs money, time, energy, and you need the right people, but it’s the right place to put effort because a business isn’t a business without customers who get what they need and have a pleasant (and efficient experience.) We’ve outsourced our support in the past to try to save money, but found — just like this O.J. producer — you get what you pay for: a substandard quality of output.

For us, of course, been hard to get up to speed, but now I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job at it (not perfect, but very good.) But here’s the thing, like I said above it takes time, energy, money and the right people.

It also takes caring, and I think that’s the biggest issue here.

If you buy food from companies that don’t care about you, then you’re looking for trouble.

A company — particularly if they’re providing you with food — should make every decision only after running it through this filter… “what would I want as a customer.”

Clearly, the FDA and this orange juice supplier don’t have you in mind. They are stopping future shipments and at the same time telling you that it’s OK — that’s a serious incongruity to me — and they haven’t addressed the most important issue: no one really wants pesticides in their food, even if they’re deemed safe.

If you have a choice between pesticides and no pesticides, what would you choose? You don’t need to answer, I already know what you’re going to say.

Anyway, to wrap this up here are some thoughts…

1. Whether you drink orange juice or not, please tell your friends about this — it’s better they don’t drink this stuff.
2. When you buy packages from companies that don’t care about you, you’re on your own.
3. If you don’t have source for organically grown orange juice, don’t bother drinking it — I’m sure there’s something local that you can use to make a fantastic juice or smoothie.
4. Don’t drink orange juice fortified with vitamin D or calcium or anything else — this only means the orange juice has been further processed and probably out of the orange for longer.

Again, please pass this along to anyone who drinks O.J., they might want to know!

Your Question of The Day: Do you think a little pesticide in your food is OK?

Live Awesome!

Article Source: Reuters / MSNBC

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. debbie says:

    NO, any amount of pesticides in my food, no matter now small,is NOT ok for me or anyone to consume. I have been trying to educate the public as well through the social medias as to these types of things. Yesterday we talked about aspartame and the flu shot so today we shall tackle the orange juice. When will this madness end? when consumers stop buying any processed food. Will it ever? no, because people are generally lazy and want the quick and easy way. I recently had friends over to my house to show them how to juice and how great it was for their health and they complained about the CLEANUP! In the mean time, they call me every time they are sick because they know I have not been sick for years. As a raw vegan, I would rather give my money to local farmers instead of the doctors! Thank you for all you do!
    God bless you!

  2. Barbilee says:

    Okay…first apple juice, now orange juice??? How about water, just pure water. It’s the best way to go!

  3. robert says:

    It would be wiser for the farmers/orchards to remineralize the soil in order shorten the growing time and to discourage infestation of insects. Fruits and vegtables that have a high minerals content are almost never consumed by the insects. Over farming with out the remineralizing of soil is why farmers use pestisides bring about a stedy build up of toxins into our bodies.

  4. Christine says:

    That’s a trick question, right? ha, ha.

    I’ll stick to buying oranges and running them through the blender.
    Good info, thanks.

  5. Diane says:

    I DO NOT want Any pesticides in my food or drinks, not even trace amounts!
    And THANK YOU for the free download of High Raw, book Love it!

  6. Lester says:

    Either Coca-Cola or Pepsi or both are thought to be the source that informed federal regulators of the fungicide in their orange juice products. See, there’s some good in everyone! Whatever, the placebo effect is pretty strong so if you think drinking O.J. is good for you then your belief system might not recognize the contaminant and it might not harm you. Trouble is, placebo effects are short lasting so I wouldn’t drink packaged O.J. on a daily basis.

  7. maca says:

    So the FDA is stopping “safe” oranges at the border? LOL. Do they think we are stupid?

  8. Betoman says:


  9. Vivi says:

    There is always little bit of pesticide in our food, even organic. The thing with pesticide it never stay where it suppose to.

    This a good site to tell you how much pesticide residues on our food.

    Any amount pesticide and toxins in our food is not ok nor healthy.

  10. Chris Armstrong says:

    industrial agriculture is attempting to grow money; not food. to get food find another source. is there a source for non hybrid dwarf orange trees suitable for a green house?

  11. Christine: How do you blend oranges? Are you saying you juice them?

  12. Lori says:

    About your Holy Basil tea recipe, is that cumin powder or seeds? Same question on the cloves and cardamom. Could someone enlighten me on this? I’m assuming seeds but not 100% positive.

  13. Sara says:

    Of the oj that is imported, most of it is from Brazil. The truly scary part is that Brazil says that this fungicide has been used on citrus trees in Brazil for the last 21 years. Uhoh. We should not be consuming packaaged oj. Orange juice is not a healthy food. It is mostly sugar. It is better to eat oranges- most of which are domestic. If not they are usually labeled with country of origen so we can avoid oranges from Brazil.

  14. Just goes to show us, we need and have to take care of ourselves,, adult siem cell nutrition is here, learn and teach others. The word doctor means teacher not God.

  15. life is good says:

    There are several toxic chemicals the US continues to manufacture even though they are banned. Then the US sells them to other countries where they are not banned to use. Those companies then sell the food back to the US for consumption.. that’s an international business trading law loophole…

  16. Lori says:

    Thank you Vivvi for posting site! I eat organic 97% of the time, so now I know what’s on the remaining 3% of my food.

  17. sue says:

    Shareholders/consumers are one in the same. Is this not a perfect example of how shareholders, in fact all of us, are reaping the reward for demands of higher & higher financial returns and our ever increasing wastefullness and desire to have everything we want available all the time? What comes first? The chicken or the egg? I am all for making money but take more than a passing interest on how it is made! We all pay the price in the end.

  18. susan says:

    glad i have grapefruits in my backyard! been dehydrating starfruit like crazy from another neighbors tree, yeah. I don’t think one can get rid of pesticide residue, what about the spray they use down here in Florida to control the mosquitoes, the counties control it. AND IF DDT impacted so many birds populations here decades ago, the BIRDS OF BRAZIL must be really taking a hit in the long run. I think we can only do the best we can do with the knowledge we can gather, SUCH AS THIS WEBSITE, and feed ourselves accordingly. my sister in homestead FL grows an organic garden but they just tore down the mango grove next to her to plant large scale tomatoes with huge trucks spraying all kinds of things, what is she to do? the air is all around us loaded with crap even in the most remote of places
    I NEVER DID LIKE ORANGE CONCENTRATE even when i was a little kid, then when i had fresh squeezed i was like wow this stuff if good and doesn’t taste anything like the store stuff!

  19. Bill K. says:

    Drinking store bought Orange Juice is not that wise to begin with. It is usually pasteurized and lacking in nutrition. You are better off making your own juice. At least when you buy the bulk oranges you can see their point of origin on the box. Of course, that does not mean that they do not contain pesticides. As these chemicals are used so wide spread it is very difficult to avoid them altogether. You would need to have your own orchard to guarantee your fruit is chemical free. Our main hope is to keep our organs and lymph system as strong as possible so that the bad stuff is transportaed out of our bodies as quick as possible. My dream of living past 100 is fading fast. Thank you minute maid!

  20. Dia says:

    I stopped drinking orange juices years ago, it made my skin break out.

  21. i 2wish you woul look over the border and look what happens in europe or other countires beside USme

    thank you! kepp on being lovely*

  22. Tara Burner says:

    NO amount is acceptable!
    that’s why I make my own and fortunately in FL I can usually either get some oranges fresh from tree or local fresh markets have fresh local juice 🙂

  23. Mia says:

    Any amount of pesticides is nasty! Better to make the soil healthier and therefore the plants healthier…maybe then the pests wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. lol

  24. Barbara says:

    Ever wondered why orange juice is pushed at us so much more than other juices when other fruits can contain as much or even more vitamin C? Oranges are a sales and marketing dream – they come in a tough, padded skin that doesn’t bruise or leak easily, or rot quickly, so they travel great distances very well. The trees produce a lot of fruit and the fruit produces a lot of colourful juice that is acidic enough to keep its attractive colour. When you talk to people about fruit juice people just think of orange juice – why? Orange juice is not that great and it upsets a lot of people. There are far healthier fruit juices that are more alkaline and mineral rich because, unlike oranges, the other fruit hasn’t been picked, stored and travelled for so long that the goodness has mostly deteriorated. Orange juice made from freshly picked organic oranges is undeniably tasty and healthier than what you get from a carton of orange juice, but I suspect we’ve all been a bit brainwashed about orange juice for the sake of what was easiest for big business to prosper from.

  25. hubert says:

    When I was eating the standard Dutch food I liked orange juice. When 20 years ago I started the raw food diet I never drank orange juice for many years. Then sometimes in restaurants, ‘eating out’
    I did order orange juice but to my surprise I always got a tummy ache from it. Not from fresh juice however. My body has become more sensitive.
    Great lesson.

  26. jennifer says:

    Yesterday morning I drank Orange juice from McD’s for breakfast and was vomiting and sick for hours. I had heard about the warning but forgot. I rarely get sick and was in severe pain with stomach in knots. This morning I could barely swallow two tylenol, and poison control said if it lasts for more than 24 hours to go to the hospital. It was so not worth it to drink the oj.

  27. Brenda says:

    Thanks for sharing the article above. I guess I will be reverting to freshly squeezed orange juice immediately.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

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