Back in July, we told you about the the extremely high levels of arsenic found in Mott’s Apple Juice. Now there’s even more bad news for apple juice manufacturers, as NBC’s Medical Expert, Dr. Oz, reports that his team has found arsenic in many more of the nation’s top apple juice brands. The Dr. Oz team conducted a huge study on leading apple juice brands, such as Minute Maid Apple Juice, Apple and Eve Apple Juice, Mott’s, Juicy Juice, and Gerber, finding high levels of arsenic in most of them. Arsenic is a metal that can cause cancer and other health problems, so you absolutely don’t want your child drinking it. Yet, if you buy popular, non-organic brands of apple juice, that’s just what your child may be drinking. Keep reading to find out which apple juice brands contained too much arsenic.

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When Mott’s Apple Juice was tested back in July, it registered 55 parts per billion of arsenic. That’s more than five times the level of arsenic that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in drinking water. The EPA sets limits on water, but not juice, stating that drinking water, to be considered safe can only contain 10 parts per billion of arsenic. Most of the juices tested by Dr. Oz, contained much more arsenic than this:

  • Gerber Apple Juice’s highest test sample for arsenic was 36 parts per billion!
  • Juicy Juice Apple Juice’s highest test sample for arsenic was 22 parts per billion.
  • Apple and Eve Apple Juice’s highest test sample for arsenic was 11 parts per billion.

Mott’s Apple Juice, although called out this summer, still had a high test sample for arsenic registering at 16 parts per billion. Minute Maid Apple Juice came out ahead of the game with a high test sample of just 3 parts per billion. You can see all test results at the Dr. Oz website. Yikes. Most of these apple juice brands contain levels of arsenic that are far too high.

After uncovering these insanely high arsenic test results, The Dr. Oz Show decided to reach out to the apple juice companies, along with Juice Products Association to get their side of the story. The Juice Products Association has taken offense, noting the following on their website:

“The results of tests for arsenic in apple juice that were shared by the Dr. Oz Show with the Juice Products Association should not be interpreted as fact. Subsequent testing of the same lots of juice from two of the named brands, using an appropriate method for testing arsenic levels in juice, found significantly lower levels of arsenic, all well under any FDA level of concern. The results reported on the Dr. Oz program were based upon a test method intended for use with water… In addition, to compare the trace levels of arsenic in apple juice to the regulatory guidelines for drinking water is not appropriate because regulatory agencies have set lower thresholds for drinking water than for food and other beverages because people consume larger amounts of water.”

All the other juice companies, including Gerber, Juicy Juice and Apple & Eve released statements commenting on the tests as well. The statements, to sum up, pretty much say that the Dr. Oz tests are wrong, noting that the tests used were meant for testing arsenic in water, not juice, and that all the juice tested is perfectly safe.

Still, juice company statements don’t change the fact that arsenic, in varying levels was found in some juice and not others. For example, none of the organic apple juice tested by Dr. Oz contained high levels of arsenic. Also American-made juices were less likely to contain high levels of arsenic than those made in other countries, yet  Food & Water Watch (F&WW)  says that 2/3 of all apple juice consumed in the U.S. comes from China, a country that still uses arsenic-based pesticides. To counter that, the juice companies are making a big deal about how the FDA does tests for safe apple juice, but how much juice are they really testing? Food Safety News points out that less than 2% of imported food is actually inspected by the FDA. Also, let’s be realistic. The juice companies can argue all they like, but does arsenic belong in juice at all? As Dr. Oz points out, “There should be no allowable amount of arsenic in apple juice consumed by children.” We agree. Why not aim for arsenic-free juice if possible? Or at the very least, stick to the EPA allowable arsenic in water amounts. For now, if you want to try and avoid arsenic in juice, your best best is to buy organic apple juice made in the USA.

+ Arsenic in Apple Juice: Dr. Oz’s Extensive National Investigation

Lead image by thesaint via sxc.