Arsenic in Apple Juice

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Renew You Challenge

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Back in September, Dr. Oz made headlines when he told viewers that tests he had commissioned found over 25 percent of apple-juice samples tested had arsenic levels over 10 parts per billion (ppb). There is no federal arsenic limit for juice, but for public water the limit is 10 ppb, and for bottled water the limit is 5 ppb. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that the arsenic was in organic form, an “essentially harmless” form found in many foods. It was later discovered that the arsenic was inorganic—the form known to be toxic to humans.

To follow up on these tests, Consumer Labs has tested 88 samples of apple and grape juice, and found that ten percent of the samples exceeded the 10 ppb limit that is set for public water, and 25 percent exceeded the 5 ppb limit set for bottled water. The following brands had at least one sample of apple juice that exceeded 10 ppb: Apple & Eve, Great Value (Walmart), and Mott’s. Brands that exceeded 5 ppb: America’s Choice (A&P), Gerber, Gold Emblem (CVS), Great Value, Joe’s Kids (Trader Joe’s), Minute Maid, Seneca, and Walgreens.

The arsenic is likely coming from arsenic-contaminated soils, the result of lead-arsenate pesticides used decades ago that remains in the soil. Apples grown on these soils take up the arsenic, and it ends up in apple juice. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is urging the FDA to set the standard at 3 ppb for total arsenic and 5 ppb for lead in juice to establish a more protective limit for public health.

Consumer Reports took their investigation to the next level by analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is an enormous national survey that collects data on health and nutrition status of Americans. This analysis found that the consumption of these juices, especially in young children, “may be an important contributor to dietary arsenic exposure,” according to Richard Stalhut, M.D., M.P.H., an environmental health researcher with expertise in NHANES data.

To read the full test results of all 88 samples, click here. Also, read my past blog on lead in fruit juices and packaged fruit products.

This week, if you are drinking these brands of apple or grape juice, get rid of them. And give the companies a call to let them know your disgust. Then, find a replacement. Sugar-sweetened beverages are contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic, so it might be time to switch to water.

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

 

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us! 

Arsenic in Apple Juice

Back in September, Dr. Oz made headlines when he told viewers that tests he had commissioned found over 25 percent of apple-juice samples tested had arsenic levels over 10 parts per billion (ppb). There is no federal arsenic limit for juice, but for public water the limit is 10 ppb, and for bottled water the limit is 5 ppb. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that the arsenic was in organic form, an “essentially harmless” form found in many foods. It was later discovered that the arsenic was inorganic—the form known to be toxic to humans.

To follow up on these tests, Consumer Labs has tested 88 samples of apple and grape juice, and found that ten percent of the samples exceeded the 10 ppb limit that is set for public water, and 25 percent exceeded the 5 ppb limit set for bottled water. The following brands had at least one sample of apple juice that exceeded 10 ppb: Apple & Eve, Great Value (Walmart), and Mott’s. Brands that exceeded 5 ppb: America’s Choice (A&P), Gerber, Gold Emblem (CVS), Great Value, Joe’s Kids (Trader Joe’s), Minute Maid, Seneca, and Walgreens.

The arsenic is likely coming from arsenic-contaminated soils, the result of lead-arsenate pesticides used decades ago that remains in the soil. Apples grown on these soils take up the arsenic, and it ends up in apple juice. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is urging the FDA to set the standard at 3 ppb for total arsenic and 5 ppb for lead in juice to establish a more protective limit for public health.

Consumer Reports took their investigation to the next level by analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is an enormous national survey that collects data on health and nutrition status of Americans. This analysis found that the consumption of these juices, especially in young children, “may be an important contributor to dietary arsenic exposure,” according to Richard Stalhut, M.D., M.P.H., an environmental health researcher with expertise in NHANES data.

To read the full test results of all 88 samples, click here. Also, read my past blog on lead in fruit juices and packaged fruit products.

This week, if you are drinking these brands of apple or grape juice, get rid of them. And give the companies a call to let them know your disgust. Then, find a replacement. Sugar-sweetened beverages are contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic, so it might be time to switch to water.

Keywords – arsenic, arsenic levels, apple juice, grape juice, arsenic-contaminated soils, pesticides, lead, public health, NHANES, children, dietary arsenic exposure, environmental, samples, sugar, water

1 Comment

  • April

    So, should we be wary of eating apples as well?

Comments are closed.