Apple juice

Arsenic and apple juice stir in the US

A new, probably overblown drama has broken out for the American food industry: allegations of unsafe levels of arsenic in apple juice, courtesy of Dr Oz – the  cardiothoracic surgeon, author, talk show host, and commentator for his The Dr Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health.

On his show last week, Oz caused a stir with claims that a popular apple juice contained high levels of arsenic. The US Food and Drug Administration quickly responded with a battery of their own tests and concluded that only trace amounts of inorganic arsenic – the type that’s poisonous to humans – were found.

Such has been the level of interest in the topic that, according to Google Insights, as of 2:30 pm GMT September 21, “apple juice” was the top search term, at breakout levels, over the last seven days in the category of Food and Drink news.

“Is the fear warranted? Probably not, depending on who you’re inclined to believe,” writes Lynn Kuntz, editor of Food Product Design magazine, “including one of Dr Oz’s experts, Dr. Russell H. Greenfield, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, who says: ‘Should you be frightened? No. I repeat – no. It remains very unlikely that you have done any harm to yourself or to your children through the drinking of apple juice.’ And he admits he’s not even a fan of giving children juice.”

The FDA has send out a couple of press releases and set up several web pages explaining why arsenic in apple juice, especially at the levels found and by virtue of incorrectly interpreting the results also means there is no cause for panic.

Questions & Answers: Apple Juice and Arsenic

FDA: Apple Juice is Safe To Drink (Consumer Update)

For more on Dr Oz’s allegations…

Dr. Oz’s Extensive National Investigation

American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer. After testing dozens of samples from three different cities in America, Dr Oz discovered that some of the nation’s best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic. In the spirit of full disclosure, below you’ll find all the test results, statements and information you need to keep your family safe. Click for more