FDA Cracks Down on Arsenic in Apple Juice

Must meet standards for drinking water

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 12, 2013 4:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Warnings of low levels of arsenic in apple juice have parents worried, but the FDA is taking action. Though the agency has insisted the amounts found in the juice aren't hazardous, it will now require that arsenic levels in apple juice be no higher than those allowed in drinking water, the AP reports. "Overall the supply of apple juice is very safe and does not represent a threat to public health," says the FDA's commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg. But "we decided to put forward this proposed action level to give guidance to industry and to assure ongoing safety."

Apple juice with more than 10 parts per billion of arsenic now risks being taken off shelves; makers could be taken to court. But most apple juices are already more than compliant with the new standards: Some 95% of samples fit the bill in a study last year. The limit is higher than the three parts per billion Consumer Reports' publisher had earlier called for, but the organization doesn't seem worried: "We think this is a perfectly good first step," says its consumer safety director.

The FDA is setting limits on apple juice arsenic levels.
The FDA is setting limits on apple juice arsenic levels.   (Shutterstock)
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