The FDA and a Dr. OZ are disputing suggestions by his television show that trace amounts of arsenic in many apple juice products pose a health concern.
Oz said on “The Dr. Oz. Show” Wednesday that testing by a New Jersey lab has found what he described as concerning levels of arsenic in many juices.
However, the FDA says the lab methods were not appropriate and that its own tests show much lower arsenic levels. The agency warned the show’s producers in advance that their testing was misleading.
Dr. Richard Besser, former acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also scolded Oz Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show for scaring consumers with what Besser called an “extremely irresponsible” report, like “yelling `Fire!’ in a movie theater.”
The issue: arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms, according to the FDA. “Organic arsenic is essentially harmless,” and passes through the body quickly, the agency says. Inorganic arsenic is the type found in pesticides and at high levels or over a long period, can cause concern.
The FDA searches for potential contaminants in fruit juices and fruit juice concentrate in three ways:
- FDA issues import alerts to keep potentially dangerous products from other countries out of the U.S. marketplace. The agency has issued a specific alert that requires importers to prove their fruit juices and concentrates are safe for consumption before they are allowed to enter the U.S.
- As part of the FDA Total Diet Study program, the agency annually tests baby foods and apple juice samples for the presence of arsenic.
- The agency collects and tests food and beverage samples in another program that looks for harmful substances in foods. Apple juice is one of the targeted products because investigators want to check for total and, if necessary, inorganic arsenic
To learn more from the FDA click here.
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