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Also, Oz is a damn quack.
Toxic Levels of Arsenic Found in Popular Juice Brands
Arsenic has long been recognized as a poison and a contaminant in drinking water, but now concerns are growing about arsenic in foods, especially in fruit juices that are a mainstay for children.
Controversy over arsenic in apple juice made headlines as the school year began when Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” told viewers that tests he’d commissioned found 10 of three dozen apple-juice samples with total arsenic levels exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb). There’s no federal arsenic threshold for juice or most foods, though the limit for bottled and public water is 10 ppb. The Food and Drug Administration, trying to reassure consumers about the safety of apple juice, claimed that most arsenic in juices and other foods is of the organic type that is “essentially harmless.”
But an investigation by Consumer Reports shows otherwise. Our study, including tests of apple and grape juice, a scientific analysis of federal health data, a consumer poll, and interviews with doctors and other experts, finds the following:
•Roughly 10 percent of our juice samples, from five brands, had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards. Most of that arsenic was inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen.
•One in four samples had lead levels higher than the FDA’s bottled-water limit of 5 ppb. As with arsenic, no federal limit exists for lead in juice.
•Apple and grape juice constitute a significant source of dietary exposure to arsenic, according to our analysis of federal health data from 2003 through 2008.
•Children drink a lot of juice. Thirty-five percent of children 5 and younger drink juice in quantities exceeding pediatricians’ recommendations, our poll of parents shows.
•Mounting scientific evidence suggests that chronic exposure to arsenic and lead even at levels below water standards can result in serious health problems.
•Inorganic arsenic has been detected at disturbing levels in other foods, too, which suggests that more must be done to reduce overall dietary exposure.
Tainted brands include Minute Maid, Mott's, Gerber, Welch's, and Great Value (Walmart) among others. See results from tests on other apple and grape juice brands.
Our findings have prompted Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, to urge the FDA to set arsenic and lead standards for apple and grape juice. Our scientists believe that juice should at least meet the 5 ppb lead limit for bottled water. They recommend an even lower arsenic limit for juice: 3 ppb.
“People sometimes say, ‘If arsenic exposure is so bad, why don’t you see more people sick or dying from it?’ But the many diseases likely to be increased by exposure even at relatively low levels are so common already that its effects are overlooked simply because no one has looked carefully for the connection,” says Joshua Hamilton, Ph.D., a toxicologist specializing in arsenic research and the chief academic and scientific officer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
As our investigation found, when scientists and doctors do look, the connections they’ve found underscore the need to protect public health by reducing Americans’ exposure to this potent toxin.
Arsenic Found in Popular Juice Brands | Yahoo! Health
can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid
I don't like reading stuff like this, I find them to be somewhat alarmist and vague.
Both of the tests done, showed that there are in fact, high arsenic levels in juice. I'm not going to debate that. Now to get to why I don't like this stuff.
For one thing, the Consumer Reports tests, didn't say how many samples there were, only 5 sample sources, just that 10% had high arsenic levels. Were there 50 samples, 100 samples, 1000 samples? If there were, let's say 100 samples (for the sake of my manifesto, and the simple math). That means that 10 were high arsenic, while 90 fell within the acceptable range. They neglect to tell you, what the average arsenic level is, in either group. The high arsenic level group, could be at 10.1 ppbs, while the acceptable arsenic group could be 9.9 ppbs.
Getting back to the 10% that did have high arsenic levels, how is that 10% divided amongst the 5 sample sources? Before we even get to that, they tested two types of juices, grape and apple. How was that divided up, 3 apple 2 grape, 3 grape 2 apple, 4 apple 1 grape, or 4 grape 1 apple. Is it an even 2% split, is one source all 10%, or is it sample A is 1%, while sample E is 3% and samples B-D are equally at 2%? The article also states that "most" of the arsenic in juice is inorganic. They don't actually define what most is. Is 75% of it inorganic, is 99.9% of it inorganic? How much of the arsenic is REALLY inorganic arsenic, "most" is not a definitive answer. So of the results that had the high arsenic levels, were they talking about just inorganic arsenic, or ALL of the arsenic (including the not bad organic arsenic)?
Mr.Boogs is an environmental chemist, who has done tests like this before. Obviously, we have been married way too long, because I now think like him, hence the manifesto. It's just when I read this, it just sounded soo alarmist, because of the vagueness of it all. It actually turned into a stream of consciousness post, and practically shows you how I think 99% of the time. So...where's that delete button again....
Dr Oz had Consumer Report woman & juice woman on his show today. There IS a major concern about arsnic levels and even organic arsnic has the ability to build , can lead to bladder cancer and learning disabilities. There is not enough guidence or even research done on this. One simple study tested people who had been drinking juice daily and found arsnic levels 25% higher than non juice drinkers. That is high.
They are recommending NO more than 6 ounces daily for kids and not at all for under 6 months. Adults can have 8 ounces per day.
This was a brave thing Oz did. He got a lot of heat for it, now after Consumer Reports those same doctors are apologizing to him in public.
I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West
The GuardianFDA examines level of arsenic in apple juice
AP foreign, Thursday December 1 2011
MARY CLARE JALONICK
Associated Press= WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is considering tightening restrictions for the levels of arsenic allowed in apple juice after consumer groups pushed the agency to crack down on the contaminant.
Studies show that apple juice has generally low levels of arsenic, and the government says it is safe to drink. But consumer advocates say the FDA is allowing too much of the chemical — which is sometimes natural, sometimes man made — into apple juices favored by thirsty kids.
There is little consensus on whether these low levels could eventually be harmful, especially to children. Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, said Wednesday the agency has already stepped up testing and research on arsenic in apple and other juices and is seriously considering lowering the FDA's so-called "level of concern" for the contaminant.
"We continue to think that apple juice is generally safe based on the fact that the vast majority of samples are very low," Taylor said. "But we want to minimize these exposures as much as we possibly can."
Arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in the 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 FDA uses 23 parts per billion as a guide to judge whether apple juice is contaminated. The agency has the authority to seize apple juice that exceeds those levels, though it has never done so.
Consumer groups say the FDA's level is too high and isn't enforced with enough urgency. Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, released a study on Wednesday calling for the levels to be as low as 3 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency has set levels for drinking water — it's consumed at much greater quantities than apple juice — at 10 parts per billion.
The Consumer Reports study showed that nine of 88 samples of apple juice taken from grocery stores had more arsenic than the EPA's standard for drinking water. But none of the samples exceeded the FDA's standards for inorganic, or man-made, arsenic.
Urvashi Rangan of the Consumers Union says the group has been in talks with the FDA on the issue and is encouraged by the discussion. Another advocacy group, Food and Water Watch, has lobbied the agency on the issue, and Dr. Mehmet Oz has highlighted the issue on his nationally syndicated daytime show.
"We look at apple and grape juice as a poster child for arsenic in the food supply in general," Rangan said. "Chronic low-level exposure of carcinogen is something we should be concerned about."
Molly Kile, a professor at Oregon State University who has studied arsenic for a decade, says more research is needed to determine whether arsenic levels in juice are a problem.
"It is unclear at this point whether or not the arsenic found in apple juice is safe or unsafe," she said. "And really the question is what do these low levels exposure of arsenic mean in terms of health and children's health?"
So what is the parent of a juice-drinking toddler to do?
All of the experts — including the government and the consumer advocates — agree that drinking small amounts of apple juice isn't harmful. The concern is over the effects of drinking large amounts of juice over long periods of time. Parents with a real concern about arsenic should try to diversify the brands of juice they buy in case one brand tends to have more chemical exposure, Consumers Union says.
Another point of agreement is that children under 6 shouldn't be drinking much juice anyway because it's high in calories. Health experts say children under 6 shouldn't drink any more than 6 ounces of juice a day — about the size of a juice box. Infants under 6 months shouldn't drink any juice at all.
Gail Charnley of the Juice Products Association says the industry regularly tests arsenic levels and will follow the FDA's lead.
"Of course parents have concerns but they should know that the juice producers are committed to safety," she said. "Producers have children who drink juice too."
Oz has said he would still serve juice to his own children, though he strongly believes the government isn't doing enough.
"The absolute safest level for arsenic in your food is zero," he said Wednesday while acknowledging "that is impossible to achieve."(Reuters) - Arsenic levels in some juice samples exceed allowable limits for water and have renewed concerns about the safety of popular childhood drinks, according to a consumer group report published on Wednesday.
Product-testing organization Consumer Reports analyzed 88 samples and found that five samples of apple juice and four samples of grape juice had total arsenic levels exceeding federal limits in place for drinking water.
Brands including Apple & Eve, Great Value, Mott's, Walgreens and Welch's had at least one sample that exceeded the 10 parts per billion threshold, it said.
Federal standards for arsenic in water exist, but juices and other foods are not regulated, it said.
Because juice is a mainstay of many children's diets, the group said they could be particularly vulnerable to health issues associated with arsenic, including certain forms of cancer.
The 88 samples came from 28 apple and three grape juice brand products that were purchased by Consumer Reports. They included ready-to-drink bottles, juice boxes and cans of concentrate from different lot numbers at stores around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The findings were released online and are featured in the January 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
The Juice Products Association said comparing juice to water standards was not appropriate.
"Fruit juice producers are confident the juice being sold today is safe," said Gail Charnley, a toxicologist for the juice association.
Juice producers are committed to meeting an informal level of safety for juice set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, she said, adding that all the samples from the report met those measures for inorganic arsenic levels.
Consumer Reports also found about one-fourth of all juice samples had lead levels at or above the federal limit for bottled water, it said.
The advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, Consumer Union, said in the report these findings should be enough to prompt the federal government to establish arsenic limits for juice.
Arsenic is found in water, air, food and soil as a naturally occurring substance or from contamination.
Breathing in high levels of arsenic can irritate the throat and lungs. Exposure to lower levels can cause nausea and vomiting or discolor the skin.
Ingesting very high levels of arsenic can lead to death.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring fruit juices for years. It said in a statement the vast majority of apple juice tested contained low levels of arsenic and it was confident in the safety of the product.
It did recognize, however, that a small percentage of samples have elevated levels. The FDA has increased efforts to monitor the product to determine if levels can be established that would reduce consumer exposure to arsenic in apple juice, the statement said.
The FDA conducted its own tests on apple juice this year after Dr. Mehmet Oz reported on his TV show high levels of arsenic in some products.
The FDA said its own tests of the same products showed very low levels of total arsenic in all samples tested.
(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Ian Simpson)
So I guess the only good thing to do is buy your own fruit and make smoothies?
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