Saturday, January 14, 2012

Whose Side is the FDA On In Its Regulatory Role? – Here’s A Hint, It’s Not Yours

Consumers Are Entitled to Know There is a Fungicide in the Orange Juice, Just Not Which Orange Juice

It’s really nice that the FDA is out there monitoring our food supply and making sure what we eat and drink is safe and most importantly, free of a fungicide.  See fungicide in orange juice is not a good thing, and the reason it is not listed on the label of ingredients is that it is not supposed to be there.  So when the FDA learns that it is, that’s a big deal.

The market for orange juice futures received another jolt after the federal government said some Brazilian imports contained a potentially harmful fungicide.

So in the interest of consumer safety the FDA admits the problem and then goes onto do this

In a letter to the industry dated Monday, the Food and Drug Administration said "low levels" of the fungicide carbendazim had been found in juice from the 2011 orange crop from Brazil. The FDA said the fungicide was discovered by a U.S. juice company, which it wouldn't name, saying it was confidential.

Wow, confidential information, like national defense secrets and the recipe for an atomic bomb.  Let’s see, who benefits from keeping information of whose OJ has fungicide from the public.  Well it can’t be the public, it must be the company that has the fungicide.  So the FDA is potentially endangering the public health in order to protect a private company. 

Of course there is always somebody in this to make some money

As of last week, hedge funds and other money managers were betting that prices would rise, with more than 50% bullish bets in place as they had three months earlier, and fewer bearish bets, according to government data.

Now the Coca Cola company, to their credit,  has come out and admitted that it is their OJ that has the problem, well sorta.

Cola-Cola Co. said it found an unapproved fungicide in orange juice made by Coke and its competitors, and alerted federal regulators that some Brazilian growers had sprayed trees with the substance.

The beverage giant, which makes Simply Orange and Minute Maid, wouldn't say which brands had shown the fungicide. Both brands contain juice from Brazil.

And the FDA didn’t just learn about the problem

The FDA had said it was first alerted Dec. 28 to the presence of the fungicide in Brazilian orange juice.

But of course it waited a 2-3 weeks before making the information public because, well, who knows that might have hurt the companies they are supposed to be regulating.

So we have a situation where it turns out the Coca Cola Company has more integrity than the FDA.  But not to worry, Pepsi, the other major player in the OJ market is keeping their info a secret.

A spokesman for PepsiCo's Tropicana declined to comment on whether the company has found the fungicide in its products but said, "we take this matter seriously and will follow the FDA's guidance."

thus showing that Pepsi, like the FDA has the industry’s interest above the consumer’s interests.  Upset, don’t be, this is taking place in a Democratic Administration. Wait till those de-regulating Republicans get in power, then taste your orange juice.

Enjoy your breakfast everyone.

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