Homemade Orange Juice Comes at a Price

In Gerald Baron’s blog called Crisisblogger, he writes about the recent orange juice import ban and how it reflects a much larger crisis that he blames on government regulators in the United States.

Coca-Cola, which also owns parts of Tropicana and Minute-Maid, was the first to notify the Food and Drug Administration that traces of the fungicide, carbendazim, was found in orange juice coming from Brazil. The pesticide is used to prevent black spot, a type of mold that grows on orange trees.  Brazil is one of the biggest suppliers of orange juice in the U.S.

The problem Baron describes is the degree of media coverage the story generated , even after the FDA announced that carbendazim appearedsat unharmful levels, specifically in the parts per billion range. “Consumption of orange juice with carbendazim at the low levels that have been reported does not raise safety concerns,” the FDA said in a letter to the Juice Products Association, a trade group.

I too believe it to be a problem. It’s just another attempt to scare the American public into believing something that has not been properly supported by facts and research.

An article in The Huffington Post also proves a little exaggerated side with a headline screaming: “Orange Juice Shows Us the Toxic Side of International Trade.” This is just another example of how one little piece of information can easily be blown up into a global incident. From a public relations perspective, I believe that this is an example of poor tactics from Coca-Cola’s internal PR team. It seems that they acted on their first instinct to bash Brazil’ s orange juice production so they can earn a higher profit.

My question is why would Coca-Cola want to risk angering the American people by inadvertently raising the price of orange juice in the United States? This would most likely be an effect that would occur since American farmers will be the sole producers if in deed the ban was placed on foreign imports, thus raising demand and prices within the country.

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