Australia carbendazim ban for orange juice

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th January 2012

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today announced that oranges and orange juice sold in Australia will not be permitted to contain any carbendazim, after it was announced that existing permissions would be revoked in the first quarter of 2012.

The moves follows concerns raised after the US Food and Drug Administration detected trace amounts of carbendazim in orange juice imported from Brazil.

Carbendazim is a fungicide used in many countries to control fungal diseases.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) had been reviewing the permissions for carbendazim.

A statement released today by FSANZ said, “FSANZ is liaising with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to ensure imported products comply with the new requirements. FSANZ has been advised that a monitoring program is being established at the border to test for carbendazim in the relevant imported foods.”

Consumer advice on carbendazim

FSANZ has moved to reassure Australian consumers that exposure to carbendazim through consuming oranges and citrus juices is extremely low.

According to FSANZ, the latest Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS) indicates that even for high consumers of oranges and citrus juices, exposure to carbendazim is likely to be around one per cent of the amount that can be safely consumed on a single day.

According to FSANZ, at the levels of carbendazim found in the ATDS:

  • The average four year old child would have to drink more than 40 litres of orange juice in a single day to go over the safe level.
  • A 70 kg adult would have to drink around 150 litres of orange juice in a day before going over the safe level.