By: Tony Flood Date: 9/14/11
Today's story involves a well-known media personality using food as a tool to instill fear in the lives of many mothers working tirelessly to provide their families with safe, nutritious and healthy meals. In this case, he is using apple juice – a well-liked and trusted drink that I grew up with as a child.
The information being presented by this well-known and recognized physician is about trace levels of naturally occurring arsenic found in apple juice. Don’t be deterred – this is nothing extraordinary and certainly not new information. For a number of years, the FDA has been aware about trace levels of arsenic in apple juice and other fruit juice products.
According to the FDA, “The Food and Drug Administration has monitored fruit juices, including apple juice, for elevated levels of arsenic for several years as part of its annual Total Diet Study and its toxic elements in foods program. The vast majority of apple juice samples tested by the FDA over that past 20 years show that apple juice typically contains less than 10 ppb total arsenic. The FDA is committed to... providing consumers with scientifically credible information.”
Based on what I’ve learned from FDA and others, there is simply no reason for anyone to change or recommend a change in their diet or be concerned about trace levels of arsenic in juices or other foods and beverages. FDA evaluates all data to determine that levels are safe based on years of sampling as well as diet studies and exposure assessments.
How does arsenic get into juice in the first place?
Arsenic migrates into our food naturally by a number of agricultural applications including the soil, environment, growing conditions and groundwater. Arsenic appears in foods from plants grown from mother earth herself.
Is apple juice safe to drink?
Yes. At the center of today’s debate is whether or not apple juice is safe to drink. Erroneous testing by news outlets and celebrity “docs” illustrate how far television producers are willing to go to increase ratings, cause undue concern and erode public confidence. The fact is that FDA and a number of independent and nationally recognized labs tested apple juice and found them to be completely safe. The FDA routinely inspects juice producing facilities to ensure they meet specific criteria for government standards and above all, safety.
As my story ends, here’s what you need to know . . . Food safety is of utmost importance for everyone – FDA, government, regulatory agencies, the food industry, producers, retailers and consumers. We as consumers expect and demand a safe and affordable food supply and should not swayed in our confidence in eating safe food. My family, my friends and I trust FDA over personalities the likes of Dr. Oz when it comes to food safety. Oh, and by the way . . . I still enjoy and drink apple juice today.