Home' Grower : February 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- February 2012
CITRUS Australia wants the
Federal Government to increase
testing procedures on imported
citrus juice in the wake of a chemical
residue scare in the United States.
And the peak body representing 2000
growers is urging consumers to look for
safe, branded local products.
"The fungicide carbendazim, which was
identified in some imported fruit juices in
the US, was withdrawn from use in the
Australian citrus industry more than two
years ago," CA chief executive officer
Judith Damiani said.
The residue issue came to light when a
major juice manufacturer contacted the
US Food & Drug Administration saying
that it had detected 35 parts per billion of
the fungicide in its orange juice and that
of a competitor.
Despite being far below the mandated
maximum residue level of 200ppb, the
alarm was raised because of the health
issues the fungicide posed.
Independent Senator for South Australia
Nick Xenophon has called on the Federal
Government to immediately ban the
import of Brazilian orange concentrate.
"Australia imports about 350,000
tonnes of the cheap Brazilian concentrate
every year, but unlike the United States
does not have strict standards on the
presence of carbendazim in products," he
"Consumers have a right to know if
there are any chemicals in their juice, even
if FSANZ deem them to be at an
Sen Xenophon has written to FSANZ
and the Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig
to immediately ban imports of the
concentrate. He will refer the issue to the
Senate inquiry into biosecurity and
Attention centred on Brazilian juice
because it accounts for almost one in
every six glasses of orange juice consumed
in the US. On January 4, the FDA
suspended all imports of foreign orange
juice and began stringent testing for traces
"In Australia, more than 300,000
tonnes of oranges are imported every year
US residue import scare
Carbendazim withdrawn from use
Attention centres on Brazilian juice
CA wants stricker testing regime
AT A GLANCE
Legal 'loophole' for alternatives increase exposure
A FORMER United states Food, Drug &
Alchohol regulatory counsel says people
switching from orange juice to alternatives
in a bid to avoid Carbendazim fungicide
residue might actually consume more of it.
"By testing and holding all orange juice
shipments, FDA is creating a fear that is
unreasonable, not based upon science,
ignoring meaningful risks to safety, and as a
result driving ordinarily rational parents to
make choices that actually increase the
chance their kids will be exposed to MBC,"
Benjamin England said.
He said levels of carbendazim methyl 2-
benzimidazoyl carbamate -- established by
the Environment Protection Authority --
were much higher in other popular juices,
such as apple and grape.
Mr England said the EPA established
tolerances for pesticide residues in food
products (ordinarily fruits, vegetables and
nuts) and FDA enforced them by testing
fresh and processed foods for the presence
of pesticide residues.
"Carbendazim has been around for
decades as a permissible fungicide in
certain food products," he said.
"In fact, for nearly a decade EPA permitted
the direct application of MBC on Florida
oranges, but eliminated the direct
application tolerance a few years ago."
Mr England said that although the EPA
banned direct food use of MBC, it was still
legal for residues to be found on many
foods, including those used to make fruit
juices, such as apples, apricots, cherries,
grapes and peaches.
"This tolerance for MBC still exists through
another pesticide, called thiophanate methyl,
a fungicide approved by EPA for direct use
on these and other fruits, but not oranges,"
he said. The answer was not to stop the
apples, apricots, bananas, cherries or grapes
but for the FDA to test future shipments to
show they did not contain MBC above 10
parts per million.
"No scare, plenty of OJ, parents feed their
kids product that might have an extremely
small quantity of MBC, but they will not be
exposing them to a chance of consuming it
... at concentrations hundreds of times
higher," he said.
Details:Sources: http://www.fdaimports.com or
Jon Barnes at email@example.com
A FORMER House of Representatives Speaker
has been appointed chairman of the working
party established to develop a progressive
structure for South Australia's $357 million
Agriculture Minister Gail Gago said Neil
Andrew was a well-known and respected
member of the community -- particularly in the
Riverland, home to the majority of the State's
industry -- and an ideal candidate to lead the
Citrus Industry Transition Working Party.
"He is a highly credible former member of
various horticultural commodity and
community groups, and has a strong grasp of
the issues the sector is facing," she said.
"I have met with Mr Andrew (a citrus grower)
to discuss the terms-of-reference of the
working party and its role in scoping a new
and united direction for SA citrus.
"The working party will build a new
representative group with a broad base and a
united structure to develop a better working
relationship with all stakeholders, including the
national peak body Citrus Australia."
Last year, former Agriculture Minister
Michael O'Brien commissioned former District
Court Judge Alan Moss to review the structure
and legislative arrangements that govern the
Details: www.pir.sa.gov.au/citrusreview (for a
copy of the report), John Back 03 5023 6333 or
Andrew gets nod to guide future of citrus industry
CITRUS Australia, in preparation for the 2012 citrus
season, says protocol markets have significant registration
and orchard inspection requirements for exports to Korea.
All orchards producing fruit for exports need to be
registered with AQIS. Fruit must be sourced from orchards
monitored and found free of greasy spot, collar rot, brown
rot and septoria spot. If any of these four orchard freedom
pathogens are detected in any registered export orchard,
all fruit produced in that orchard is not eligible for export
to the Republic of Korea for the remainder of the season.
Fuller's Rose Weevil is another pest of quarantine concern
A NEW information management system that brings
together the importing country requirements of Australia's
agricultural export trading partners to a single platform
has been developed by AQFS. Access to MICoR Plants can
be accessed via a web browser at the DAFF website.
Navigation to MICoR can be made in several ways: URL
into a browser address line at the top of the browser page
http://www.daff.gov.au/micor/plants or access MICoR from
the commodities home page. The PHYTO database will
continue to be accessible for a short period of time.
UNIVERSITY of California scientists have started releasing
a natural enemy of Asian citrus psyllid in Riverside to help
control an invasive pest that could be devastating for the
state's $1.1 billion citrus industry and citrus trees in
residential landscapes. The tiny, stingless, parasitic wasps
that lay eggs in Asian citrus psyllid nymphs were released
in a citrus grove behind the residence of UC Riverside
chancellor Tim White. During the next several years, UC
Riverside and California Department of Food and
Agriculture scientists will raise thousands of the wasps for
release throughout California.
THE Administration Council for Economic Defence in Brazil
has approved the creation of the world's biggest orange
juice company. It was created by the merger of Citrosuco/
Fischer with Citrovita (Votorantim Group). But one
condition of the union is a Performance Compromise Team
that allows negotiation between independent producers
that feel damaged by this operation. The PCT was made to
assure the access to producer information. With it, citrus
producers will gain access to data about the price charged
for orange juice in the external market, size of self-
production and profitability of the juice per box of orange.
Fruit size action
GROWERS need to take action if fruit density counts for
oranges are >8-10 fruit/0.5M quadrat and especially if 50
per cent or more of your fruit is <45 millimetres.
There are several management actions that can increase
fruit size before harvest: monitor irrigation requirements
(avoid water stress); hand thinning -- aim for 4-5
oranges/0.5m quadrat; apply potassium -- supplement
ground applications with foliar applications of potassium
nitrate. LB Urea will facilitate the uptake of potassium
nitrate. This is especially important for mandarins and
Leng navels. These sprays could be repeated at two to
five-week intervals, depending on the size of the fruit.
Cleopatra rootstock tends to yield smaller fruit, so more
applications will be required.
in the form of cheap Brazilian orange
juice concentrate," Ms Damiani said.
"We call on the AQIS to immediately
increase testing of all imported citrus juice
for chemicals banned in Australia.
"Australian consumers can be confident
about their fresh juice purchases if they
buy from the chiller section of their local
shop or supermarket, and look for juices
that have the Aussie Grown logo or
product of Australia on their packaging."
Aussie Grown, supported by the
Australian Citrus Growers logo, indicates
the endorsement of CA. The logo cannot
be bought and is designed to help
consumers make an informed choice.
Berri Australian Grown, Original Juice
Black Label Orange Juice, Curlwaa Fresh
Orange Juice and Nippy's Orange display
the endorsement logo.
Details: John Back 03 5023 6333 or
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