Reporting Dr. Maria Simbra
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s one of the most popular drinks among children.
“What is your kid’s favorite drink? Apple juice!” says parent Drew Seymour.
“Maybe a couple of cups a day, maybe a cup a day, we water it down,” adds Christopher Salazar, another parent.
In recent years, many parents and consumer groups have expressed their concern about arsenic in apple juice.
Now the Food and Drug Administration wants to limit the contaminant to the same levels currently allowed in drinking water.
“We think this is good for all consumers. I think in the case of inorganic arsenic, we certainly want to be sure given that apple juice is consumed by kids, we want to be sure that they continue to have as low as possible levels,” says Michael Taylor, the deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and is in pesticide.
The inorganic type can be toxic and high levels can potentially cause cancer. But experts don’t know exactly what that level is.
The FDA has been monitoring apple juice for the past 20 years.
Last year the agency released an analysis that showed all the samples they tested were below the new levels being proposed for inorganic arsenic.
“We think that the level that we’ve set is the right level to protect public health. We think it will continue to assure that people can continue to have confidence in the overall safety of apple juice,” Taylor said.
The Juice Products Association is reviewing the FDA proposal and says safety is the number one priority for juice producers.
Seymour is happy to hear the FDA is keeping apple juice safe for children.
“It’s just another thing to help a parent rest easy at night,” Seymour said.
And like many parents she says she also tries to limit her kids’ favorite drink because of the sugar.