Popular talk show host, Dr Mehmet Oz, has aired a segment on the chemical arsenic found in apple juice, noting that federal regulators currently do not have a limit on arsenic in apple juice.
The show deals with the controversy over whether safe levels of the chemical should be reduced to 10 parts per billion (ppb) - as ten of their tested brands of juice exceeded this limit - set by the FDA for water, however not for apple juice:
"As a doctor and a parent, it's concerning to me that there could be toxins such as arsenic in juice we are giving to our kids," he said in a news release for the show which airs in Canada on CTV.
Dr Oz's show also states that one sample on the study exceeded the 'level of concern' for apple juice (23 ppb), that could increase risks of disease such as kidney failure.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a Question & Answers factsheet discussing the issue, saying apple and other fruit juices are safe to drink.
“There is currently no evidence to suggest a public health risk from fruit juices, including apple juice,” the FDA said.
“Small amounts” of organic and inorganic arsenic may be found in certain food and beverage products, the FDA. The agency says inorganic forms of arsenic are harmful while organic forms are “essentially harmless.”
The Dr. Oz report did not distinguish between the two types.
"The FDA has reviewed the test results performed by EMSL Analytical, Inc., on behalf of the Dr. Oz Show, and we can confirm that the results that were revealed are for total arsenic. The results do not distinguish between the essentially harmless organic forms of arsenic and the harmful inorganic forms of arsenic. Therefore, these results cannot be used to determine whether there is an unsafe amount of arsenic in the juice tested by the Dr. Oz Show,” the FDA said.
The FDA also explained that the standard for arsenic in bottled water was set by a law known as the Safe Drinking Water Act.
“This standard is based on a variety of factors, including a higher estimated consumption for drinking water than for apple juice. In addition, the form of arsenic in drinking water, unlike fruit juice, is almost entirely inorganic arsenic,” the FDA said.