|Arsenic in Apple Juice|
December 02, 2011
Studies raise concerns about Arsenic in apple juice
Recent studies by Consumer Reports and other organizations have revealed that many popular brands of apple juice contain high levels of arsenic, a potentially life-threatening chemical. The studies found total arsenic levels in excess 10 parts per billion ("ppb"), amount established as safe for drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Arsenic comes in two forms. "Organic" arsenic, which occurs naturally in many foods, passes safely through the body and is essentially harmless. "Inorganic" arsenic, which is a component in some pesticides and other chemical products, is toxic and carcinogenic.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not formally regulate arsenic in apple juice. However, the FDA has established a "level of concern" of 23 ppb. None of the recent studies showed amounts above that level. Additionally, the studies did not show amounts of inorganic arsenic-the dangerous kind-above the EPA's safe drinking water level.
Nevertheless, consumer advocates are pressuring the FDA to create stricter standards for arsenic, including lowering the permissible levels for apple juice. Their concern is that prolonged exposure to even low levels of arsenic may increase the risk of cancer, especially in children, who are the largest consumers of apple juice.