An apple juice a day boosts arsenic
December 2, 2011
Many fruit juices contain more arsenic than previously thought, more than the government allows in drinking water. But despite the findings of a recent Consumer Reports investigation, not much is expected to change soon.
As the investigation’s results were announced, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tried to reassure consumers about apple juice’s safety in particular, faced with findings that 10 percent of samples tested by the consumer organization had total inorganic arsenic levels exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb). That’s twice what the federal government allows for bottled water.
No such limits are applied by the FDA to fruit juice products.
Grape juice also tested high in the substance, with one sample at 24.7 ppm.
Over the past decade, most apple juice sold in the United States is blended from apple concentrate from China. However, some samples from exclusively U.S.-grown products showed similar levels of arsenic.
Mounting scientific evidence suggests that chronic exposure to arsenic and lead even at levels below water standards can result in serious health problems. But FDA officials expressed concern that policy standards “are difficult to change” if future conflicting data is developed.