FOCUS ON PESTICIDES
By Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D.
Carbendazim Residues in
from a juice manufacturer that it had
detected low levels of carbendazim
(Derosal®) in some of its orange juice
products and also in some of its competitors’ products.
The pesticide was also reported in some Brazilian orange
juice concentrate that had not been processed into
Products Association—the trade association that
represents the fruit and juice products industry—stating
that carbendazim is a pesticide that is not approved for
use on oranges in the United States and that its residues
not permit orange juice products containing measurable
levels of carbendazim to continue to enter the country.
does not pose a safety concern due to the presence of this
pesticide, the fact that carbendazim and its residues have
been detected in imported orange juice is nonetheless
Carbendazim is a fungicidal pesticide that is not legal
for use on oranges in the U.S. but is allowed in many
countries. The burden of proof falls on juice importers to
ensure that such products are not contaminated prior to
entry into U.S. markets.
Food Safety Magazine;Editorial;Board;member;Larry
Keener states that importers have a responsibility to
follow the code of regulations for any agricultural
but preventable, lesson
product they are bringing into the U.S.
from a foreign country, including asking
the foreign supplier what chemicals
are put on the product; what residues
remain after harvest and processing;
what the risks to public health may be
and to establish programs in that country
for quality testing and screening of those
products. Only after the test results are
known can one agree to take receipt of
the food product.
Keener emphasizes that contracts
should be used to establish best
practices, including all processes,
monitoring programs and banned
chemicals, and to give suppliers options
should a particular chemical used in
that country not be acceptable for use
in the U.S. An objective third-party
testing laboratory (properly qualified)
can confirm that the contract is being
Problems occur, he notes, when
the supply chain cannot be verified.
Importers must be exceedingly aggressive
in this regard.
Keener provides the following
example. When importing food from
up lindane, an agricultural, neurotoxic
insecticide. He immediately hopped a
plane to the region to visit the producer.
Upon entering the plant, he smelled a
chemical with a characteristic pesticide
odor, which had been used to control a
recent insect infestation at the facility.
The chemical was lindane and it had
inadvertently contaminated the food.
Coordination is imperative between
importers and exporters, as well as with
any brokers who may find a grower
or processor for the importer. Having
additional layers between the importer
and primary producer can sometimes
obscure supply chain verification;
therefore, a thorough knowledge of all
involved parties is essential.
It is also of critical importance that