December 5, 2011

Arsenic and Lead in Juice.

In a new Consumer Reports investigation they found that 88 samples of apple juice and grape juice purchased in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were contaminated with arsenic and lead. Both of these heavy metals affect our brains negatively and promote cancer. They found that most of the arsenic was inorganic (the dangerous type) and the total arsenic levels were higher than what the FDA allows in water. Consumer Reports found that 10 percent of those samples had total arsenic levels exceeding federal drinking-water standards of 10 parts per billion (ppb) and 25 percent had lead levels higher than the 5 ppb limit for bottled water set by the Food and Drug Administration.

These toxic effects are realized over a long period of time. We are talking about trying to prevent long term accumulation issues like we saw during the issues with lead and other heavy metals in the past.

It is unfortunate that we have to even think about a juice being contaminated. The answer to the problem is government intervention. Based on the FDA's history, I think that we are in trouble.

My response to the problem is as follows:

1) Juice is not necessary. Limit your child's consumption to 6 ounces per day and water it down to make 12 ounces. Our kids need to drink more water anyway

2) Avoid any food from China where the problems with heavy metals are rampant

3) Make fresh or frozen fruit smoothies from local or US based companies instead of juice. Smoothies contain fiber and are tasty

My take home point today: The consolidation and globalization of our food industry continues to concern.

Buy your food and drinks locally where possible,

Dr. Magryta