Bill Would Set Federal Limits for Arsenic and Lead in Juice

applejuice_factory_attPhoto via wikimedia user Kohn33Given the recent findings of arsenic levels in apple juice that surpassed acceptable limits in drinking water, people may be surprised to hear that no such standards exist to limit the presence of heavy chemicals in juice.

Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill this week that would change that, requiring FDA for the first time to set limits for arsenic and lead in fruit juices.

USA Today explains the health concerns:

Arsenic and lead, which get into the juice through contaminated groundwater and soil, can accumulate in the system and can cause bladder, lung and skin cancer, and increase risks of cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiencies and type 2 diabetes.

Kids, who are smaller and drink more apple juice than adults, have a higher risk.

Yet FDA continues to deny there is a threat to public health, despite the bill sponsors' assertion that "35 percent of children under five drink more juice than recommended."

Given the fact that most of the apple juice we consume comes from China, known to use arsenic-based pesticide, it's better to be on the safe side.

A GAP client who worked at a Mott’s apple juice plant explained to the Daily Beast last year the gaps in FDA inspection, substantiating the need for more whistleblowers on this issue and food safety in general.

Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.


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