Digital News Report – You think that you are doing the right thing by buying your kids 100 percent apple juice to drink? Doctor Oz challenged this ideal today on his TV show when he pointed out that levels of arsenic in apple juice exceed the limits of drinking water.
Doctor Oz explained that the FDA, who is the authority in regulating apple juice products, does not have a limit set for apple juice. However, the EPA, another government agency, does have a limit for arsenic in drinking water.
Patty Lovera from Food & Water Watch was one of his guests on the show. She said that the FDA looks at less than 2 percent of the processed food products entering the US for inspection. These foods include produce and seafood.
Doctor Oz’s second expert was Russell Greenfield, MD, author of Healthy Child, Whole Child, who said that he worries about the levels of arsenic in juices. Mr Greenfield said that the levels should be close to zero for children’s juice. He suggests funding the FDA so the agency can better enforce the arsenic levels in the juices.
Doctor Oz explained that damage occurs from excessive arsenic exposure when eaten. The arsenic toxin enters into the liver and from there goes into the cells. From there, arsenic can get into the DNA, damaging the DNA. These biological changes can lead to cancer, and blotches on the skin. He also explained that excessive arsenic exposure could affect nerves and could possibly affect the IQ in children.
To investigate, Doctor Oz tested arsenic levels in several boxed apple juice drinks at labs. The labels on the juice boxes state the contents are of foreign origin. Doctor Oz took the samples from people at the park and at grocery store shelves and sent them to an independent lab to measure the arsenic levels.
The results showed the products measured as low as 3 parts per billion (ppb) and as high as 36 ppb. Doctor Oz said that water has a limit of 10 ppb. Minute Maid brand had the lowest amount and did not exceed 10 ppb.
Dr. Greenfield said he is concerned about the chronic toxicity from being exposed to high arsenic levels on a daily basis.
Part of the FDA statement sent to Dr. Oz stated: “Sampling this far does not indicate a safety concern for these products.”
Doctor Oz said that the FDA has set a level of concern for arsenic at 23 ppb for “pear juice”. The government agency did not have this same rule set for apple juice. Also, the water level limits may be lower because people are thought to drink more water than they would apple juice.
Doctor Oz said that a limit should be set for apple juice, and it seems logical to make the limit the same as water. He could not get industry groups and FDA government agency representatives to participate in today’s show. He made calls and left many messages.
On his website, Doctor Oz has made available the full statements from the companies and responses along with additional statements after the TV show aired.
Doctor Oz said that Organic apple juice made in the US could be a safer alternative. Also apple juice that comes completely from the US is probably safe he said.
According to the Washington State’s Department of Health, doctors can order certain medical tests to determine how much arsenic is in the body.
By: Robert Williams