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EU countries may step up tests on Brazil OJ
January 12, 2012 / 11:56 AM / 6 years ago

EU countries may step up tests on Brazil OJ

* EU experts to discuss results of U.S. tests next week

* Commission says sees no need for major increase in testing

BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (Reuters) - EU governments will meet next week to discuss the results of U.S. tests for the fungicide carbendazim in orange juice from Brazil, and have the option to begin targeted testing of imports to Europe if needed, the bloc’s executive said.

U.S. orange juice futures rose almost 11 percent on Tuesday after health regulators said they would test all imports from Brazil for the fungicide. Most of the gains were reversed the following day as fears of a U.S. import ban receded.

“Member States will be informed in a next standing committee meeting of the U.S. results on carbendazim, and might test in a targeted way orange juice and concentrate imported from Brazil,” a spokesman for the European Commission told Reuters on Thursday.

“At this stage, the Commission does not recommend to the member states to increase significantly the tests on this product.”

Carbendazim is not approved for use on citrus fruit within Europe, but the EU has a tolerance limit for residues of the chemical on imports of 200 parts per billion (ppb).

The limit is well above the trace level of residues permitted by the U.S. in imports, and was approved as safe for EU consumers following a scientific review in 2009, the Commission said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expects to have initial results from its tests on Brazilian orange juice by the end of this week.

Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; editing by Jason Neely

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