December 1, 2011- The FDA is considering changing the restrictions on the amount of arsenic allowed in apple juice. Consumer groups are pushing the FDA to tighten its restrictions and clamp down on the use of the contaminant.
Past studies have shown the level of arsenic is generally low in apple juice. The government has said the juice is safe for the consumer. However, consumer watchdog agencies are saying the FDA allows too high a level of arsenic in apple juice. At times, the arsenic is natural while other times it is man-made found in the juice.
There is very little agreement as to whether or not the low levels of arsenic are harmful to those who drink the juice, especially young children. The deputy commissioner for foods for the FDA, Michael Taylor said, “Testing has been increased by the agency and research is also increasing to determine the safety level for arsenic in many juices, not just apple.” He added, “The FDA is considering lowering the level of arsenic allowed in juice,”
The guide the FDA uses to determine whether the juice is contaminated with arsenic is 23 parts per billion. One consumer group called for the levels to be lowered to three parts per billion. Drinking water is consumed much more that apple juice and the FDA has set the level of arsenic in drinking water to 10 parts per billion.