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Thread: Dr. Oz accused of fear-mongering on apple juice

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    Default Dr. Oz accused of fear-mongering on apple juice

    Dr. Oz accused of fear-mongering on apple juice

    Arsenic in apple juice! Fed to babies! And it probably came from China! Television's Dr. Mehmet Oz is under fire from the FDA and others for sounding what they say is a false alarm about the dangers of apple juice.

    Oz, one of TV's most popular medical experts, said on his Fox show Wednesday that testing by a New Jersey lab had found what he suggested were troubling levels of arsenic in many brands of juice.

    The Food and Drug Administration said its own tests show no such thing, even on one of the same juice batches Oz cited.

    "There is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices. And FDA has been testing them for years," the agency said in a statement.

    The flap escalated Thursday, when Oz's former medical school classmate Dr. Richard Besser lambasted him on ABC's "Good Morning America" show for what Besser called an "extremely irresponsible" report that was akin to "yelling 'Fire!' in a movie theater."

    Besser was acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before joining ABC news as health and medical editor several years ago.

    Arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in two forms organic and inorganic. According to the FDA, organic arsenic passes through the body quickly and is essentially harmless. Inorganic arsenic the type found in pesticides can be toxic and may pose a cancer risk if consumed at high levels or over a long period.

    "The Dr. Oz Show" did not break down the type when it tested several dozen juice samples for total arsenic. As a result, the FDA said the results are misleading.

    Furthermore, the agency's own tests found far lower total arsenic levels from one of the same juice batches the Oz show tested 2 to 6 parts per billion of arsenic versus the 36 that Oz's show had claimed.

    Tests of the same batch conducted by two different food testing labs for the juice's maker, Nestle USA, which sells Juicy Juice under the Gerber brand, also found levels consistent with the FDA results.

    In a letter published on the Oz show's website, Nestle said it told the program's producer in advance that the method the show's lab used was intended for testing waste water, not fruit juice, and "therefore their results would be unreliable at best."

    The FDA also sent a letter in advance to the show and threatened to post its findings and the letters online if the program proceeded.

    Oz went ahead.

    "American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60 percent of which is imported from China," the website version of his report says. "Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer."

    The show tested three dozen samples from five brands, and Oz claimed that 10 had more arsenic than the limit allowed in drinking water 10 parts per billion.

    However, the FDA said the arsenic in water tends to be inorganic, justifying the strict limit. In contrast, organic arsenic is the form usually found in food and juices. Tests over the last 20 years show apple juice typically has fewer than 10 parts per billion total arsenic.

    The mercurial Oz is a heart surgeon at Columbia University and heads an alternative medicine program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was a regular on Oprah Winfrey's show for many years before getting his own program two years ago.

    This is the first week of a new TV season, the first in two decades without Winfrey dominating the talk show scene.

    Tim Sullivan, a spokesman for Oz's show, said in an interview: "We don't think the show is irresponsible. We think the public has a right to know what's in their foods."

    Sullivan said Oz does not agree that organic arsenic is as safe as authorities believe. The show will do further tests to distinguish organic from inorganic arsenic in juice samples, he said.

    "The position of the show is that the total arsenic needs to be lower," he said. "We did the tests. We stand by the results and we think the standards should be different."

    In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, even Oz said he wouldn't hesitate to keep giving his four children apple juice.

    "There's no question in my mind folks can continue drinking apple juice. ... There have been no cases at all of kids being harmed by elevated levels of arsenic, and the kinds of numbers we are talking about are not high enough to cause acute injury," he said.

    He said he was concerned instead about the possible ill effects from drinking apple juice for many years.

    An independent lab agreed with the FDA's contention that the form of arsenic matters.

    Oz's testing "certainly begs the question how much of that is inorganic," the type of arsenic that is of prime concern, said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com. The company tests dietary supplements and publishes ratings for subscribers, much as Consumer Reports does with household goods.

    However, Cooperman and others have long called on the FDA to strengthen regulation of contaminants.

    Dr. Oz accused of fear-mongering on apple juice - Yahoo! News

    *hoping this article acts as a beacon for twitchy*
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    My kids drink a lot of apple juice, and I have been following up on this. I can't find virtually articles on anybody in the field who supports Dr. Oz on this. Unless he can prove that the samples had high inorganic arsenic in them, he should apologize and put this behind him.

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    I saw this on the News last night. They also interviewed several other doctors who said he shouldn't have said that and blah,blah.
    Then, asked point blank if they would give their own kids apple juice, they said no!
    I found that telling! If they won't let their own kids have it, why junk the rest of us?
    Why protect their own kids, using the same logic as Dr Oz, yet criticize him for telling a truth? Until we have a test proving what arsnic is natural and what and how much arsnic is added by pesticides, he has a point.
    He was mostly saying "Be aware of this" ,IMO.
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    Elite Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    I agree with you McJag. I am not a fan of juice for other reasons and this adds to it. I don't trust the government on what is healthy or not to put into our bodies.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    From what I'm reading, apple juice is not even close to being one of the top sources of arsenic around the house. It's in seafood, beer, drinking water (including well water), rice, and especially chicken (because of pesticides).

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    If food says "made in China" my baby isn't eating it. After the pet food scare, no way.

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    Lots of things don't say 'Made In China', because you only have to list where the final finished product comes from. Many things are made with components from China, but would be labelled 'made somewhere else' due to that loophole.

    The apple juices that he did wouldn't say 'made in china' because you don't have to list that that's where the concentrate comes from. They probably all said 'made in the USA'
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    If food says "made in China" my baby isn't eating it. After the pet food scare, no way.
    Or the toothpaste scare, or the milk scare (melamine put into products in order to artificially raise protein levels).

    Or the gutter oil scare -- that showed Chinese workers collecting gutters from drains outside restaurants, reprocessing them, and then selling them as food oil.

    Or the Chinese guys who were taking cardboard boxes, spraying them with acid, and the grinding them up and selling them as meat in meat pies.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    More reason for staying as close as possible to certified organic foods/drinks.
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    I don't give my kids apple juice because every time I do he shits through his diaper. So I'm ahead of the ball on this one. Score!
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louiswinthorpe111 View Post
    I don't give my kids apple juice because every time I do he shits through his diaper. So I'm ahead of the ball on this one. Score!
    You know, my neighbor had mentioned a few weeks back her 2 year old could no longer have it because it was too "acidy"...I wonder if that's what she meant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    More reason for staying as close as possible to certified organic foods/drinks.
    This. Buy local produce and organic if you can - support local farmers. I don't trust our food supply and I certainly don't trust the FDA to protect us. One has to just look at products they've approved as safe for consumption to see this.

    Why do we need to import apple juice concentrate from China? Can we not grow apples anymore in this country? We've outsourced the apples!

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quazar View Post
    This. Buy local produce and organic if you can - support local farmers. I don't trust our food supply and I certainly don't trust the FDA to protect us. One has to just look at products they've approved as safe for consumption to see this.

    Why do we need to import apple juice concentrate from China? Can we not grow apples anymore in this country? We've outsourced the apples!
    Along with oranges and everything else.
    I totally agree on support you local farmers. Closer,fresher and better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Lots of things don't say 'Made In China', because you only have to list where the final finished product comes from. Many things are made with components from China, but would be labelled 'made somewhere else' due to that loophole.

    The apple juices that he did wouldn't say 'made in china' because you don't have to list that that's where the concentrate comes from. They probably all said 'made in the USA'
    Well, that's scary. You would think they would need to tell you that part of your food is from another country. Especially a country like China that has a pretty dangerous past when it comes to food safety. We wanted to get the kidlet some teething crackers that everyone was telling us to get. Well, sure enough, they're made in China. I'm not getting them. And these are the biscuits that all the mommies "rave" about because they sell them at Whole Foods!

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Or the toothpaste scare, or the milk scare (melamine put into products in order to artificially raise protein levels).

    Or the gutter oil scare -- that showed Chinese workers collecting gutters from drains outside restaurants, reprocessing them, and then selling them as food oil.

    Or the Chinese guys who were taking cardboard boxes, spraying them with acid, and the grinding them up and selling them as meat in meat pies.
    Geez, I just remember the toothpaste and the pet food. I cooked for my dog for a couple of years after that!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    More reason for staying as close as possible to certified organic foods/drinks.
    Exactly. We buy certified organic baby food and prepare some of it ourselves. We don't give her juice, just regular fruit. All of our fruit that we buy for ourselves is organic...except oranges. Even the dog and cat eat organic.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quazar View Post
    Why do we need to import apple juice concentrate from China? Can we not grow apples anymore in this country? We've outsourced the apples!
    It's not clear how many apple products we import from China. They are the world's leading producers of apples, but that doesn't mean that much of their product comes to our shores - especially because we produce something like the 4th-most apples in the world. By the way, I think I read that we have twice the yield per acre that they do, but they devote much more land to growing apples.

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