Dr. Oz, Emmy award winning TV host and health guru for daytime viewers everywhere, targeted apple juice on a September 12 show, stating that his team had found “unsafe” levels of arsenic in apple juice being sold in America.
Oz’s team analyzed juice sources from the US and several other countries, and found “unsafe” levels of arsenic in juice from countries where standards are not as strict as in the US, like China. All products reviewed are commonly sold in the US. Oz also found that up to six different countries can be represented in one bottle of apple juice, as manufacturers mix them together.
The FDA, not available for comment prior to showtime, came out in force following the reaction to the show, claiming Oz to be a “fear monger” and emphatically stating that our American juice is safe to consume.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, and found in varying levels in soil, and drinking water. Oz claims that the FDA should be looking more closely at this issue, and at our food supply in general, given that countries like China do not have pesticide regulations as rigorous as ours in the US. The use of Arsenic as a pesticide is illegal in the U.S. but not in other countries.
Dr. Oz maintains that the standards for water and juice should be the same, as many children in the U.S. consume large amounts of juice, while the FDA judges them differently, using a more stringent standard for water. Dr. Oz plans a rebuttal show Wednesday, September 21.
My best advice?
- Eat whole apples that are organic and locally grown.
- Limit apple juice consumption due to the high levels of sugar, regardless of the arsenic content.
- Give kids water, healthy lemonade made with natural sweeteners, or coconut water.
- Drink only organic apple or fruit juice, preferably from your own state or local community. Pesticide use is on the rise universally due to increased pest resistance.