Dr. Oz received significant flak when he reported in September that "some of the best-known brands of apple juice contain arsenic." Since then, however, Oz has been redeemed and his claims substantiated!
After Oz's initial comments, Dr. Richard Besser, a 13-year veteran of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ABC News' chief health and medical editor, publicly lambasted Oz and his warnings as "extremely irresponsible" and "fear-mongering" and equated them to yelling "'Fire!' in a movie theater." Amid the public debate, the Food and Drug Administration tried to steady the apple cart by saying that consumption of apple juice "poses little or no risk."
But just a few days ago, I watched a humbled Besser on "Good Morning America" recant his fury against Oz's conclusions, saying instead that new studies have just confirmed arsenic is indeed in many popular apple juices.
ABC News reported that Consumer Reports tested 88 samples of popular brands of grape and apple juice sold in the U.S., including Welch's, Minute Maid and Mott's. The results revealed that 10 percent of the juices "had total arsenic levels greater than the FDA's standard for drinking water of 10 parts per billion (ppb), while 25 percent of juices also had lead levels higher than the FDA's bottled water limit of 5 ppb."
Furthermore, data on arsenic in adult urine from the CDC demonstrated that men and women who drank apple or grape juice in a 24-hour period "had, on average, about 20 percent higher levels of total urinary arsenic than those subjects who did not."
Consumer Reports went on to report that the arsenic tested and detected is inorganic and a human carcinogen. CR further explained that there is "mounting scientific evidence suggesting that chronic exposure to arsenic and lead even at levels below federal standards for water can result in serious health problems, especially for those who are exposed in the womb or during early childhood. FDA data and other research reveal that arsenic has been detected at disturbing levels in other foods as well." So who wants organic or inorganic arsenic in his water, juice and food? (Oz further notes that though many say organic arsenic is safe, there is clear evidence that both forms are ultimately hazardous to our health.)
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