Orange juice: Is it safe to drink?
Fri, 13 Jan 2012 00:36:47 GMT —
There are concerns over a breakfast staple. Is Orange juice safe to drink and is the cost going to go way up?
The concerns come after Coca-Cola told the government that growers in Brazil sprayed their orange trees with a fungicide that is not approved for use in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration says the juice is safe to drink, but the FDA will test orange juice coming in. If there is any trace of the fungicide, it won't be allowed in. With supply of orange juice possibly going down, prices could rise.
"Even if they all go up, we're going to see some going up more than others and so if you're going to try to flee to safety and stick to only juices that are 100 percent Florida orange juice, you might see the gap between those and other juices go up at the supermarket," says Mary Lovely, an economics professor at Syracuse University.
Lovely says while supply could go down, so too could demand. That could actually bring prices down on orange juice that's not purely from Florida oranges.
"People who fear any trace amounts of the fungicide, especially fungicide that might have gotten into the food supply prior to the FDA being aware of it, might shy away from mixed juices," Lovely said.
CNY Central spoke with some local toxicology experts who don't think you should be worried and that you should know about what you are eating and drinking. Use of the fungicide in question is legal in Brazil but not here in the United States. Fungicides are used to keep pests away from the trees.
Dr. Alexander Garrard, a clinical toxicologist at Upstate University Hospital, says people should be information but not afraid of the "sensational stuff" that's out there.
"The big thing to know about orange juice, as of right now it's probably very safe to drink," Dr. Garrard says. "The levels that they detected of this particular herbicide or fungicide are nowhere near the levels that have been tested in animals for instance that can cause adverse affects."
Tsutomu Nakatsugawa, a professor at SUNY ESF, says he would drink the orange juice and that it's "way below" poisonous levels.
Nakatsugawa, an expert in environmental health, says people need to realize that other counties don't have the same type of oversight there is in the Unites States, but that that globally there is a good margin of safety.
"At least the chemicals used in this country are controlled so the amount you end up eating is at the safe level, things registered abroad you have to rely on their standard," Nakatsugawa said.
Nakatsugawa adds, because a product is used in another country and not in the United State, doesn't make it hazardous.
Nakatsugawa says people need to be aware of what they are eating and drinking because many time people are eating poisons and they just don't know it.