Could apple juice be dangerous? A recent study set up by rising health guru Dr. Oz, concluded that many apple juice brands contain high amounts of arsenic. The recent news has spurred some controversy between Dr. Oz and the Food and Drug Administration, with the FDA stating that Oz’s claims are untrue and the apple juice is safe. But arsenic in apple juice is indeed a real issue.
Arsenic in Apple Juice
Dr. Oz hired an independent lab to test 36 samples of apple juice to evaluate arsenic levels. Of the 36 samples, 30% were found to contain unsafe levels of arsenic – levels that even exceeded the allowance in tap water. The FDA wasn’t too impressed by this extremely small study. Oz then re-tested them, and came to the same conclusions. He then had a different group submit 30 more samples to study, which had very similar results to the original study.
The FDA also argues that Oz tested for “total” arsenic levels, which was a mistake. There are two types of arsenic, naturally occurring, organic arsenic, and inorganic heavy metal arsenic. According to the FDA, Oz should have tested both forms separately in order to determine the amount of each form found within the total amount. The inorganic arsenic is what should be looked out for, so says the FDA.
Oz noted that what’s used today for arsenic testing in drinking water is the total arsenic level. The FDA also didn’t have a level of arsenic which may be of concern for apple juice, but said that for pear juice they used a total arsenic level. There have also been other peer reviewed reports testing for both organic and inorganic levels of arsenic in apple juice, with most reports finding the inorganic form. Oz also notes that it isn’t fair to argue that the organic form of arsenic is safe. While the inorganic form should be focused on, there are still many people who study toxins in the environment who feel organic arsenic is not “safe”.