There are reports today that Representative Pallone (D-NJ) & DeLauro (D-CT) will itroduce the Arsenic Prevention & Protection from Lead Exposure (APPLE) in Juice Act (“APPLE Juice Act”) tomorrow.
A House bill introduced Wednesday aims to limit levels of arsenic and lead in fruit juices. When the bill was announced, the sponsors cited Consumer Reports’ investigation into the issue, which found high levels of arsenic and lead in the juices we tested.
While federal limits exist for arsenic and lead levels allowed in bottled and public drinking water, there are no limits defined for juices, a mainstay of many children’s diets, putting them at unnecessary risk for serious health problems, including several forms of cancer.
The proposed Apple-Juice Act of 2012 was introduced by Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and calls on the Food and Drug Administration to establish standards for arsenic and lead in fruit juices in two years time. Neither Pallone nor DeLauro could cite a specific case of a child getting ill from apple juice.
Siobhan DeLancey, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said the agency is continuing to examine and gather data to determine whether there is a need to set guidance to assure the safety of apple juice.
She added that the FDA has monitored fruit juices for arsenic for more than 20 years and has “found that total arsenic levels in apple juice are routinely low.” She said the FDA also has been monitoring the presence of lead in juices and doesn’t yet have any evidence that it’s an on-going public health issue.
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