Nightly News   |  January 11, 2012

FDA halts orange juice imports

The Food and Drug Administration halted imports of orange juice from all countries, and plans to destroy or ban products that contain even low levels of a prohibited fungicide. NBC’s Tom Costello has more.

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>>> a story that could reach into a million of american homes about a potentially dangerous chemical, and government safety officials say it might be the case with orange juice . they've gone as far as stopping all orange juice imports as a precaution. that and some wicked cold weather in florida last week sent orange juice prices soaring wildly in commodities markets , which will hurt where price is concerned at the supermarket, as well. tom costello has more on this.

>> reporter: nearly half the orange juice we buy every day comes from brazil. you have to look closely at the packaging to see where the juice you buy is produced in. a letter to the juice industry, the fda said an anonymous american juice company had found low-levels of a fungicide carbendazim in its own juice as well as a competitor's juice. it is used in brazil to kill a mold that is common on orange trees . while florida may be the orange juice state, you have to look closely at what the label says to see where the juice you're buying comes from. many times the label says contains orange juice concentrate from the usa, brazil and sometimes costa rica . samples of the fungicide were very low and should not cause harm. the fda is sampling imported orange juice at the port. says it will block any juice that has these levels of fungicide in orange juice , helping to drive