Skip to comments.Feds Allow Arsenic in Apple Juice?
Posted on 12/06/2011 5:28:07 AM PST by Kaslin
This past year, I started writing a health and fitness column through Creators.com, titled "C-Force." It is no surprise that in researching for that column, I've discovered repeat offenses of food and beverage tampering by the federal government. But arsenic in apple juice?
Dr. Oz received significant flak when he reported in September that "some of the best-known brands of apple juice contain arsenic." Since then, however, Oz has been redeemed and his claims substantiated!
After Oz's initial comments, Dr. Richard Besser, a 13-year veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ABC News' chief health and medical editor, publicly lambasted Oz and his warnings as "extremely irresponsible" and "fear-mongering" and equated them to yelling "'Fire!' in a movie theater." Amid the public debate, the Food and Drug Administration tried to steady the apple cart by saying that consumption of apple juice "poses little or no risk."
But just a few days ago, I watched a humbled Besser on "Good Morning America" recant his fury against Oz's conclusions, saying instead that new studies have just confirmed arsenic is indeed in many popular apple juices.
ABC News reported that Consumer Reports tested 88 samples of popular brands of grape and apple juice sold in the U.S., including Welch's, Minute Maid and Mott's. The results revealed that 10 percent of the juices "had total arsenic levels greater than the FDA's standard for drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb), while 25 percent of juices also had lead levels higher than the FDA's bottled water limit of 5 ppb."
Furthermore, data on arsenic in adult urine from the CDC demonstrated that men and women who drank apple or grape juice in a 24-hour period "had, on average, about 20 percent higher levels of total urinary arsenic than those subjects who did not."
Consumer Reports went on to report that the arsenic tested and detected is inorganic and a human carcinogen. CR further explained that there is "mounting scientific evidence suggesting that chronic exposure to arsenic and lead even at levels below federal standards for water can result in serious health problems, especially for those who are exposed in the womb or during early childhood. FDA data and other research reveal that arsenic has been detected at disturbing levels in other foods as well." So who wants organic or inorganic arsenic in his water, juice and food? (Oz further notes that though many say organic arsenic is safe, there is clear evidence that both forms are ultimately hazardous to our health.)
Tragically teetering on a huge U.S. health cover-up, the FDA posted eight "previously undisclosed test results" for apple juice samples from across the country that had arsenic levels that superseded even its own "level of concern" for inorganic arsenic. Two of those eight samples had an arsenic level of 27 ppb. One had a level of 42 ppb, and two others were at 45 ppb.
What's even worse is that the samples were discovered in 2008. And we're just finding out about them now? Such undisclosed elevated levels of arsenic give a whole new meaning to the saying, "Quit drinking the feds' Kool-Aid!"
Strangely, the FDA has limits for arsenic in water (including bottled) but no such regulations on fruit juices. At the very least, the FDA should not allow more arsenic in apple juice than it allows in Americans' drinking water. Until then, tides of arsenic will continue to flow from foreign produce fields into American bloodstreams. (If you want to weigh in on this issue, contact the FDA at http://www.fda.gov or call 888-463-6332.)
Dr. Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability at Consumer Reports, rightly delivered this staunch warning: "We're concerned about the potential risks of exposure to these toxins, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable because of their small body size and the amount of juice they regularly consume."
With apple juice lacing children's cereals, snack bars and holiday party tables, we need to heed this countrywide health warning and blow the trumpet to our neighbors. The fact is that the U.S. is getting more and more of its fruits and vegetables from other countries, and many of them do not preclude or limit arsenic in their pesticides or even their water supplies as the U.S. does. Oz reported that apple concentrate comes from up to seven countries; 60 percent of it is imported from China alone.
I agree with Oz, Rangan and Consumer Reports; it's best for consumers to reduce their exposure to these juices. CR is recommending, until this juice fiasco is remedied, that you not give any type of juice to infants younger than 6 months. Also, no more than 6 ounces daily should be given to children up to 6 years old, and older children should have no more than 12 ounces daily.
This is a perfect example of why my wife, Gena, and I and other health enthusiasts encourage everyone to buy local and organic, always, and, where it's possible, to grow produce and juice it.
So let buyers beware! Poisonous apples are definitely not just being offered in fictional Snow White adventures.
If you want to be involved in an encouraging export this Christmas, ensure that more than 60,000 service members abroad receive Christmas care packages. Go to http://www.Give2TheTroops.org. Tell them Chuck sent you!
Don't tell Chuck that potatoes also contain arsenic. He'll want to ban french fries...that also form acrylamide when cooked in hot oil....Someone stop the madness!!
Oh, the horror!
Remember a few years back when pets were dying, and the FDA traced it back to a gluten that U.S. pet food manufacturers were obtaining from China? In order to boost the protein content, the Chinese were adding melamine (toxic) to the gluten. Chinese babies were dying because of the same thing. Melamine was added to the baby formulas to boost protein content.
It's not just our juices. Maple syrup. The bottles on the shelves locally state, "Product of Canada". Meats. Seafoods. Nuts.
Want to buy "local"? According to the USDA, a food can be labeled "local" if it's grown within 400 miles of its origin or within the State in which it's produced. Pull out a map of your town. Calculate the 400 mile radius for an eye-opener. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR97/ERR97.pdf
95% of juice sold in the supermarket is reconstituted with city water from concentrate anyway, so its probably in the water supply to start.
So true. I work with FDA on Agriculture products - and their limits on many basic things such as heavy metals, pesticides, etc... is simply based on whatever the latest Testing Ability is - not any scientific proof that things that even occur in nature are actually bad.
Basically, if they can detect it, they ban it. There are no announcements or published standards either, only "guidances" which can change at a bureaucrats whim.
In their efforts to produce "safe food" - the EPA and FDA are going to drive most farmers out of business, leave a few large corporations running it all.
That’s ok. It was twice as unintelligible that way.
I can’t see anyone adding it, but who knows? (Not me!) As for natural sources, I’d rather have a little arsenic in my well than, say, lead. That’ll make ya crazy!
Arsenic, like mould, occurs EVERYWHERE in virtually EVERY cubic foot of soil and in virtually EVERY cubic meter of air on the planet.
Chuck, be afraid of everything...be very afraid...if the government could just lower the levels to the point we weren’t exposed to anything that could be harmful wouldn’t it be a great world!
I predict someday there will be a study of people who have not been ‘exposed’ to any ‘toxin’ in their whole lives. They will be weak pale little creatures living in a stainless steel box.
You have just given me a perfect answer to my brand of crazy....I can blame it on lead...now I just need to find the company that makes it so I can sue them...oh wait, that would be mother nature, :O( cannot sue her, she can be a bitch at times, tornados, hurricanes, snow storms...etc. Best to leave her alone.....:O)
Mother Nature can be mean for sure. I knew an accountant who inherited a lovely riverfront home, in the neighborhood of an old lead mine. Historic home, known locally for its long history of very eccentric occupants. He went so hare-brained crazy they had to put him in an asylum. The relatives took over the place, tried to sell it and found out the well water was so contaminated by lead, they couldn’t give the house away. Net losses of about five million dollars and one man’s freedom and sanity.
This sounds dumb I have never heard of mining for lead..but then there are millions of things I haven't heard of...:O)
Now mining/panning for gold is something I would like to do..on my bucket list but am too old to do it now...Always wanted to hire some old prospector and a mule in Alaska, grub stake him for the summer and have him take me out panning for gold.. Have gone diamond mining in Arkansas, but didn't find any diamonds...Arkansas has the only diamond area, state park that you can go and dig for diamonds...over the years some big one's have been found. The big canary diamond Hilliary Clinton wore to the inaugural ball is a diamond found at the diamond mine state park...If you find one, they will buy it off you on the spot. You take all the minerals/stones you find to their expert and they will tell you what you have.
Spot on the stuff is all over the place.If people knew what was in their carpet’s they would know why their eyes burn sometimes.
Products in the home have many chemicals in them.
Better living through chemistry DuPont says.
Meryl Streep weeps!
How hard would it be for companies to decore an apple before pressing it?
When the English colonized the Atlantic seaboard, one of the first things the settlers did was look for and mine lead. They'd melt them down to make these:
I know someone whose naturapath prescribed ARSENIC to cure her carpal tunnel syndrome....and, yes, it did. They said, taking it totally out of the water creates a situation where you do not get ENOUGH.