In welcome news to parents, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to set a new limit to the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice.
The FDA is setting in place a strict standard on how much arsenic is acceptable in apple juice, limiting the amount to the same level currently permitted in drinking water. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, this change comes after a Consumer Reports analysis on levels of the potentially poisonous metal and fears of long term effects associated with consumption. This new standard will target inorganic arsenic, the type that is most commonly found in pesticides that have been “associated with skin lesions, developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes.” According to the FDA, organic arsenic is “a naturally occurring mineral and is contained in some pesticides used in food production,” and studies have shown apple juice to contain very low levels that are not dangerous to consumers.
The article goes further to explain the FDA is saying that the apple juice supply does not present a threat to the public and is very safe. An analysis conducted last year by the FDA of 94 apple juice samples found that 95% were below this new level, and the majority of juices on the market today are already below this new threshold. The new threshold is 10 parts per billion.
In 2008, FDA regulators set a level of concern for arsenic at 23 parts per billion in apple juice. The FDA’s new number is based on lifetime exposure to arsenic and the potential for long-term cancer risk.