Arsenic Detected in Apple, Grape Juice Samples
Levels of the poison exceeded safe limits established for drinking water, researchers say. Consumer Reports study that found many apple and grape juice samples tainted with arsenic.
"This is very disconcerting on several levels. Parents should be worried," said Dr. Peter Richel, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "Hearing this should make parents say no to juice."
Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is urging the FDA to set arsenic and lead standards for both apple and grape juice, especially given that inorganic arsenic has been detected in other foods.
The group also encouraged parents to limit their children's consumption of juice per guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics: no juice for children under 6 months of age, no more than 4 to 6 ounces daily for children under the age of 6 years, and no more than 8 to 12 ounces for older children. They also recommend diluting juice with water.
But the presence of a potentially fatal poison is only one reason children should be drinking little or no juice, said Richel.
"Juices are empty calories," he said. "They're laden with sugar and [carbohydrates] that lead to childhood obesity, and if children are allowed to consume juice after juice after juice, that can replace the balanced consumption of dairy and solids."
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