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FDA Sets Limit For Arsenic In Apple Juice

by Britt E. Erickson
July 22, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 29

Credit: Shutterstock
The amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice will now be regulated by FDA.
This is a photo of a glass of apple juice with apples around it.
Credit: Shutterstock
The amount of inorganic arsenic in apple juice will now be regulated by FDA.

FDA has proposed a threshold of 10 ppb for inorganic arsenic, the carcinogenic form of the element, in apple juice. This is the same level set by EPA for arsenic in drinking water. FDA determined the action level after working with EPA, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to assess the potential risks from long-term exposure to arsenic. “The levels of inorganic arsenic in apple juice are too low to cause immediate or short-term health damage,” says Michael R. Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. FDA has been monitoring arsenic in apple juice for two decades but has not taken action until now. Last year, the agency reported arsenic levels in 94 samples of apple juice. Ninety-five percent of the samples had total arsenic levels below 10 ppb, and 100% of the samples had inorganic arsenic levels below 10 ppb. FDA’s move to set a limit comes two years after test results released by the television program “The Dr. Oz Show” and Consumer Reports magazine raised the public’s concerns about arsenic in juice. FDA was unable to reproduce those test results. The agency says it established the limit to provide guidance for industry.


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