Claim: Pesticide used on mandarin oranges imported from China is causing severe allergic reactions among U.S. consumers.
Examples: [Collected via e-mail, October 2010]
A lady broke out in a major allergic reaction a couple of days ago. Full body rash - swollen throat - etc. She went to the
DON'T EAT FOOD MADE IN CHINA. Even if it has Canadian/US producer labels (Del Monte Fruit for example is ALL MADE IN CHINA).
Apparently, the Japanese mandarins are OK.
Someone I work with broke out in a major allergic reaction a couple of days ago. Full body rash — swollen throat — etc. She went to the
In any case, passing this information along — I shudder to think what Chinese food producers are spraying on their food now — and history proves they have no regard for the human impact of their actions. I suggest you wait for the Japanese mandarines to come out on the market and leave the Chinese ones alone. Especially a consideration with elderly and young kids. I haven't seen anything in the news yet about this — but there's been enough cases that doctors are starting to recognize a pattern.
Origins: The above-quoted warning against handling mandarin oranges imported from China appeared on the Internet in October 2010. It commonly takes one of two forms: A longer note specifying the allergic reaction happened to a
As is often the case with alerts of such nature, this one is bereft of checkable facts. The writer of the note goes unnamed, as does the
We could find no reports or officially-issued warnings to support the
There are also no accounts of doctors reporting an uptick in clinic and emergency room visits for patients beset by allergic reactions, let alone of their testing a hypothesis about its cause by handing them fruit.
Even pesticide-free mandarin oranges can be
allergens on their own and can provoke anaphylactic reactions (similar to the symptoms described above) in persons who may be sensitive to them. It's possible the letter's writer misinterpreted a colleague's account of having experienced an allergic reaction to a mandarin orange as the adverse reaction's having been caused by a pesticide on that fruit's skin.
The only authoritative item we could find about mandarin oranges posing any sort of problem was an advisory issued by the
Barbara "snowbird of prey" Mikkelson
Last updated: 7 November 2010