FDA Sets Limit for Arsenic in Apple Juice

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I love it when I have good news to report, especially when it involves new regulations that help keep us safer and healthier. The FDA recently set a new standard for arsenic in apple juice as a result of public outcry that began two years ago when Dr. Oz revealed that over 25 percent of apple-juice samples tested had arsenic levels over 10 parts per billion (the federal limit for arsenic in water).

After the Dr. Oz study, Consumer Reports published another study that confirmed and strengthened Dr. Oz’s results, prompting the FDA to conduct its own investigation. Between 2008 and 2011 the FDA tested 260 samples of apple juice and found that 97 percent were below 10 ppb. All but one sample tested below 20 ppb, with the highest sample—43 ppb—found in an apple juice imported from Turkey.

FDA proposed a level of 10 parts per billion (ppb) as the new limit for apple juice, the first food to have a limit set for arsenic levels. I applaud this new limit, and I am encouraged that consumer concerns have had such a beneficial impact of federal regulation. Now, if only the FDA could move as quickly on other toxins in foods. Perhaps arsenic levels in rice will be next? Or BPA? Mercury in fish? We have a way to go, but I applaud any step in the right direction.