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Old 06-04-2006, 09:12 PM
northern canuck northern canuck is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 29
How Safe are Chilean Grapes

I have often wondered just how safe our food is that comes from places like Chile, Mexico, third world countries, etc. from pesticides. Who checks them and how often. I suspect in Canada our food is not that well monitored by the federal government---(the usual budget cuts); How well is food monitored in the USA? Do you glow at night and have no intestinal parisites thanks to uneducated or unscrupulous marketers?
Old 06-05-2006, 12:08 AM
even sven even sven is offline
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: DC
Posts: 19,401
There are very strict USDA guidelines about what can be imported in to the country, and food import/export involves a lot of regulations and inspections. Even so, fruit is a pretty self-contained deal and it's hard to go really wrong.
Old 06-05-2006, 12:36 AM
Squink Squink is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,327
Originally Posted by even sven
Even so, fruit is a pretty self-contained deal and it's hard to go really wrong.
Chilean fruit embargo of 1989
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) embargoed 2 million crates of Chilean grapes for 11 days in overreaction to questionable test data concerning low levels of cyanide in two grapes. Over 20,000 Chilean workers lost their jobs, and the U.S. was sued for $330 million as a result.

The killer grapes terrorized American consumers, swept tons of fruit off supermarket shelves, and severely damaged the Chilean economy...

On March 2, 1989, an anonymous caller to the U.S. Embassy in Santiago warned that fruit headed for the United States had been injected with cyanide as an act of protest against the Pinochet regime. The call was repeated on March 8. Three days later the FDA spotted three suspicious-looking grapes...

The fruit was rushed to the FDA's Philadelphia laboratory, where the two punctured grapes were tested and found to contain cyanide....
More at The cyanide scare; a tale of two grapes.
And here: U.S. Cleared in '89 Scare Over Chilean Fruit
A Federal judge has ruled that the Food and Drug Administration is not responsible for $210 million lost by Chilean fruit growers when their products were banned during a cyanide scare in 1989.


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