A recent study from Consumer Reports found out that out of 88 apple juice samples from various brands purchased in different states, 10% had levels of arsenic and 25% (that’s one in four samples) had levels of lead exceeding those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding drinking water. This study supports Dr. Mehmet Oz who reported dangerous levels of arsenic in apple juice in September 2011.
Back then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rebutted him on the ground that most of the arsenic was organic and harmless. Juice manufacturers responded to Dr. Oz news using the same argument, and also that their products were all below the FDA’s “levels of concern”. They (FDA and manufacturers) unanimously disputed Dr. OZ’ methodology and analysis and called the media irresponsible to report presence of arsenic in their products.
Consumer Reports found that the arsenic is instead mostly inorganic (as found in soils contaminated by now-banned pesticides) which is a known human carcinogen.
The FDA has set formal limits for bottled water, but not for juices. The FDA maintains that its own studies show that the majority of their own samples are below their “levels of concerns”, yet it has never taken action to seize products exceeding those levels, despite the authority to do so. The FDA’s “levels of concern” for juices allow significantly higher levels of toxins than the EPA’s drinking water regulations.
Consumer Reports further says that those “levels of concern” do not even take into account prolonged exposure to arsenic that can lead to skin, lung and bladder cancers, immune problems, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Various studies have found toxic levels of inorganic arsenic in name-brand jars of baby food and US-grown rice.
Consumer Reports is urging the FDA to regulate those toxins in juices to very low levels, lower in fact than those set by the EPA for drinking water.