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Arsenic in Apple Juice: What Should I Do?

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Arsenic in Apple Juice: What Should I Do?

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.

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35 comments

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9:28AM PST on Jan 13, 2014

Choose a fresh apple over apply juice.

9:01PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

There's not arsenic in the seeds, it's cyanide...... What kind of certified dietician doesn't know that? And a little seed pulp has all kinds of good fruit oils to help protect those that ingest the seeds so we, and the horses and the bears can poop most of the seeds out and plant more little apple trees.

The cyanide of concern is from Chinese apples that are grown on very questionable soils with questionable farming practices....I'm sure not going to drink something that's squished in china that they say is apple juice......my dogs almost died from eating "wholesome American made" kibble that contained poison that they say was rice.... And we sure didn't know the crap they listed as brown rice was swill from china...

. Why are gerber and motts buying apples or some sort of "concentrate" from china...that because its yellow and smells sweet, we'll assume is apple juice concentrate? If we all had to really grow our own apples and then juice them.. We'd treasure the commodity and wouldn't treat it like the sugar water crap that w've come to know.....

12:34AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:14PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

How much would a person have to drink for it to be fatal? Does anyone drink that much?

4:40PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Christa's point about seeds in the juicing process makes logical sense to me and might be a reason to juice (post-seed removal) at home. It also would be a reason eating apples rather than drinking apple juice is healthier (beyond the density issue). If the alleged amount of arsenic cannot be fully accounted for by juiced seeds, however, wouldn't that mean that unjuiced apples also would contain arsenic?

5:46AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

There has always been arsenic in seeds and I thought a tiny bit was good for you as it could kill bad cells.
However, if the ppm are getting dangerously high, then I would beware. And I would heed the part about apples from China. You should know by now they don't care what they have in their food.
Ask another chemist, but to say "organic arsenic", is a joke in my opinion. I am even leery of organic and inorganic compounds with arsenic in them.
AND ABOVE ALL DO NOT TRUST THE FDA.

8:42AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Many thanks to Dr. Oz! At least he got the message out before he was 'threatened', and had to backpedal. EWG has had apples on the most polluted lists for a long time. I just don't drink the stuff that comes in plastic bottles, no matter what the 'flavor'.

I agree with all here who say make your own!

8:15AM PDT on Sep 24, 2011

Apple seeds do naturally contain arsenic, they put the whole apple seeds and all into the machine, if you could see how things are produced you would not eat or drink them.
Buy organic apples, take out the seeds and make your own juice or better still drink water. Do you get your 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water daily?
I agree 100% with Linda Chambre's comments.

11:39AM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

weird.

3:19PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

FDA=bad people! You never know when they're lying. They're probably not drinking the apple juice because they know the truth! I'm just thinking to the extreme.... don't mind me.

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