Press Clips: Coke Tipped FDA on O.J.; New Soda Tax Study; Pepsi Beverages Settles Race Charges

First it was apple juice and arsenic; this week it’s orange juice and fungicide. Earlier this week, the FDA halted shipments of the citrus juice in its bottled and frozen form while it tested for traces of the anti-fungal carbendazim, a chemical that is banned in the U.S. but is still used in Brazil. A recent story on explains that it was Coca-Cola that originally alerted the FDA about the fungicide after discovering low levels of carbendazim in its finished orange juice and juice concentrates as well as in those of its competitors.

A new study published in health policy journal Health Affairs estimates that a penny per ounce tax on soda could raise $13 billion a year and prevent 26,000 premature deaths, according to a story in The Los Angeles Times. The results of the study, authored by researchers from Columbia University, UC San Francisco and Virginia Tech, are based on facts about Americans’ current consumption of soda as well as number of assumptions as to how a tax would reduce consumers’ intake of sugary drinks.

The Washington Post reported that Pepsi Beverages Co., formerly known as Pepsi Bottling Group, has agreed to pay $3.13 million and provide job offers and training to settle federal charges of racial discrimination. The charges were related to Pepsi Beverages’ use of criminal background checks for job screenings and its policy of not hiring workers with arrest records. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces U.S. employment discrimination laws, said that the policy disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants and stated that  it can be illegal to use arrest and conviction records to deny employment if they are irrelevant for a job.