Pssst….Don’t drink the apple juice…

Or, at least consider a pause from drinking imported/bottled apple juice. The current goings on related to apple juice, arsenic, and the FDA, remind us that we must take care in what we shop and consume — and, that the government is not always on top of things. It seems even regular news stories are hinting at a lack of diligence on the part of the federal government to set the correct levels.

Three stories about arsenic levels in apple juice are below:(excerpt from) SF Gate/AP
FDA looks at arsenic levels in apple juice
Thursday, December 1, 2011

…The FDA uses 23 parts per billion as a guide to judge whether apple juice is contaminated. Consumers Union released a study Wednesday calling for the levels to be as low as 3 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency has set levels for drinking water – it’s consumed at much greater quantities than apple juice – at 10 parts per billion…

(excerpt from) Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports tests juices for arsenic and lead
Nov 30, 2011

Findings of a Consumer Reports investigation about arsenic and lead levels in apple juice and grape juice have prompted the organization to call for government standards to limit consumers’ exposure to these toxins.

The tests of 88 samples of apple juice and grape juice purchased in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut by Consumer Reports staffers found that 10 percent of those samples had total arsenic levels exceeding federal drinking-water standards of 10 parts per billion (ppb) and 25 percent had lead levels higher than the 5 ppb limit for bottled water set by the Food and Drug Administration. Most of the arsenic detected in our tests was the type called inorganic, which is a human carcinogen…

(excerpt from) Food Safety News
Government Agencies
Apple Juice Is Still Safe, FDA Says
But agency ‘seriously considering’ new guidance on arsenic levels
by Ross Anderson | Nov 30, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has reiterated its finding that apple juice sold across the U.S. is safe to drink, with naturally occurring arsenic levels well below the agency’s “level of concern,” but says it may set new guidelines on an appropriate level for inorganic arsenic…

Landa reached that conclusion in a lengthy letter last week to two consumer groups, Food and Water Watch and the Empire State Consumer Project, which are campaigning for standards for arsenic and other heavy metals in apple products…

The issue got attention earlier this year when The Dr. Oz Show publicized results of private tests showing arsenic levels higher than the FDA level of concern (23 parts per billion) in a number popular brands of apple juice…

Arsenic and apple juice have become a recurring theme in food safety politics. Consumer groups point out that most U.S. apple juice is imported from China and other countries, and they fear some of it may be tainted with arsenic and other heavy metals…

Tests of Motts apple juice, commissioned by the Empire State Consumer Project, had shown arsenic levels as high as 55 ppb…[the FDA got different results]

Similarly, the FDA tested juice from the same Nestle/Gerber lot that the TV program had shown to contain 36 ppb total arsenic…[the FDA got different results]


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