Back in September of this year, we told you about a report of arsenic found in apple juice, a report that was refuted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The report was done by Dr. Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of the syndicated talk show “The Dr. Oz show.” On his show, Dr. Oz said his team had found arsenic in several major brands of apple juice here the US. “American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60 percent of which is imported from China,” Oz stated. “Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer.”
The FDA responded quickly, telling consumers that there are two types of arsenic. One is organic, is common in food and water, and passes harmlessly through the body. The other is inorganic, is found in pesticides, and is harmful. The FDA stated that only the organic kind is found in apple juice, and is not harmful. The FDA also stated that Dr. Oz did not explain the difference, and issued him a letter of warning.
But a new study of apple and grape juices, published in the non-profit Consumer Reports (CR) magazine, lends credence to Dr. Oz’s concerns. Consumer Reports tested juices from five different brands and found that 10% contained arsenic levels that were higher than allowed by federal drinking-water standards. While there are no federal standards for the amount of arsenic allowed in juice, the limit for drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb). They said that most of the arsenic found in the juices they sampled was inorganic arsenic, the kind known to be a carcinogen.
Another major concern is that one in four juice samples had higher levels of lead than allowed in bottled water. The FDA requires that lead in bottled water not exceed 5 ppb, though like the arsenic, there are no restrictions on the amount of lead in juice.
Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, is now urging the FDA “to set arsenic and lead standards for Apple and grape juice.” The FDA has not issued a response to CR’s request at this time.