Arsenic & Apple Juice

Every day kids go to school with apple juice in their lunch boxes. Toddlers drink it from sippy cups and some from their bottles. It comes in kid-friendly juice boxes, which are fun to sip.

In the September 14 episode of Dr. Oz, the segment “Things to Fear in Your Food” Oz highlighted apple juice. Of concern was the arsenic levels in apple juice. Yes, arsenic. Arsenic is known to cause cancer over a lifetime of exposure at high levels in drinking water.

What’s the standard?
Has FDA set a standard for arsenic levels in apple juice? No, but they have set maximum levels in bottled water. The maximum level of arsenic allowed in bottled water is 10 micrograms in one liter of bottled water or 10 parts per billion.

Out of the 36 samples (Oz tested the same brands multiple times just to be thorough), 10 exceeded the limits for drinking water set by the EPA, and some even measured above “levels of concern.” Those levels are based on people consuming a measly 4 ounces a day. Who drinks just 4 ounces?

There may be more than juice in Hadley’s drink.

How is arsenic getting into apple juice?
Experts say the use of arsenic-based pesticides may be contributing to elevated levels of arsenic in some juices. Arsenic also occurs naturally in air, water and soil and is present in other foods.

More than 60 percent of the apple juice from concentrate sold in U.S. stores comes from Chinese orchards, and much of the remainder comes from countries such as Chile, Argentina and Turkey. Even American farmers use arsenic-based pesticides.

The FDA says there is no need to stop drinking apple juice. People generally drink far less juice than water. It seems logical the government should set a similar arsenic limit in apple juice as in bottled water.

Kids usually drink a lot of juice. So what’s a parent to do? First, limit the amount of juice your children drink. As with all fruit juice, one serving of apple juice your child could be consuming the juice and arsenic from three apples. You’ll consume less arsenic if you eat one apple.

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For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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