By Kati Mora, RD for DietsInReview.com
If you are one of the many parents now second guessing your decision to pack a juice box in your child’s lunch tomorrow, you are not alone. In a recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show, national health guru Dr. Mehmet Oz claimed that not only does apple juice contain arsenic, but levels much higher than what is deemed safe for our drinking water.
According to an independent study conducted on behalf of the Dr. Oz Show, ten of the three dozen apple juices sampled were found to have arsenic levels higher than the amount allowed in drinking water. Of these, Gerber, Juicy Juice, and Mott’s were some of the highest with 36 parts per billion, 22 parts per billion, and 16 parts per billion reported, respectively.
Despite this information the FDA wants the public to feel assured that drinking apple juice is still safe. In fact, the FDA claims there is no public health risk associated with drinking apple juice and that they have been performing safety checks for years to ensure that what we drink is indeed safe.
A safety level for arsenic has not been determined for juices and, although this may seem alarming, the FDA states that the type of arsenic primarily found in juices is organic arsenic, an essentially harmless form. In the case of water, the primary source is inorganic arsenic which, is the form typically considered to negatively impact health when consumed in large quantities.
Although Dr. Oz and the FDA have opposing views on whether apple juice is indeed safe to drink in its current state over an extended period of time, both do agree that it’s perfectly fine to drink your favorite brand of apple juice. This may seem slightly contradictory, but arsenic accumulation doesn’t happen immediately.