December 2, 2011 by staff
Arsenic FDA, New reports on arsenic in apple juice may leave parents confused about what they should be pouring into their children’s glasses.
Although the Food and Drug Administration continues to say it is “confident in the overall safety of apple juice consumed in this country,” the agency also recently acknowledged it is considering new policies on arsenic in juice.
In the meantime, some consumer groups are advising parents to dilute their juice, vary the brands they serve and limit children’s juice consumption.
Other children’s health experts say parents should worry more about juice’s impact on childhood obesity than about its arsenic content. Already, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no juice for children younger than 6 months, no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day for kids under 6 and no more than 8 to 12 ounces for older children.
The recent concerns about arsenic arose after consumer groups reported that their testing found levels in apple juice that exceed the FDA standard of 10 parts per billion for bottled water. The agency has no standard for arsenic in apple juice, something the groups would like to change.
The reports have been controversial, in part because arsenic comes in two forms. The inorganic type is harmful, while organic forms are considered relatively harmless.
Pesticides are a source of inorganic arsenic, as is soil and groundwater pollution. But because some arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate it from foods completely.
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